Baseball: UTSA wins on the road at Baylor, 9-7

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Hector Rodriguez stroked a go-ahead, two-run double and Caleb Hill followed with an RBI single in the seventh inning Tuesday, helping the UTSA Roadrunners rally to down the Baylor Bears 9-7 in Waco.

Trailing by one run with two outs in the seventh, the Roadrunners came alive when Rodriguez pulled a hard ground ball just inside the bag at first and into the right field corner, scoring two runs to make it 8-7.

Caleb Hill followed with his third hit of the night, an RBI single, to make it 9-7.

Braylon Owens (2-1) completed a two-inning relief effort by shutting out the Bears in the bottom of the seventh. He earned the win.

Fischer Kingsbery worked the eighth and Ruger Riojas pitched the ninth for his third save in the team’s last four games.

Last weekend, UTSA won its first series of games against a Top-10 opponent, taking two of three at home against the East Carolina Pirates.

Two days after an emotional 6-5 victory over the Pirates in the inaugural series as a member of the American Athletic Conference, the Roadrunners followed with their second win in Waco in two years.

In the more than 30-year history of games between the teams, Baylor holds a wide lead in the series, 36-10, including 26-6 in its home ball park.

UTSA has started to make some progress, however, winning 8-3 last year and winning again this season for the first back-to-back victories against Baylor since 1994.

A concern for the Roadrunners developed late in the game after Hill got his hit in the seventh and ran to first base. A trainer came out to check on him. Though he remained on the field, he pulled up slightly running to second base after a Mason Lytle single.

A few minutes later, UTSA coaches took their leading hitter out of the game and sent a defensive replacement into the outfield.

Regardless, it was another big night for the Roadrunners, who continue to swing hot bats. Entering the game batting better than .300 as a team, they had 15 hits against the Bears, including three by Hill and three by Lytle.

UTSA also showed resilience, rallying from deficits of 5-3 after three innings and 7-5 after four. In addition, the team showed it was capable of winning in the mid-week, evening its record to 3-3 in games played on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Roadrunners have a weekend series in the American Athletic Conference on the horizon, as they’re set to play three in three days starting Thursday in New Orleans against Tulane.


UTSA 13-12
Baylor 8-16

Coming up

(AAC) UTSA at Tulane, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
(AAC) UTSA at Tulane, Friday, 6:30 p.m.
(AAC) UTSA at Tulane, Saturday, noon

UTSA aces power-conference test with an 8-3 victory over Baylor

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

Playing their first power conference opponent and their first game outside of San Antonio this season, the UTSA Roadrunners stood up to the task with error-free defense, solid pitching and 13 hits Tuesday night in an 8-3 road victory over the Baylor Bears of the Big 12.

Baylor scored in the bottom of the first off UTSA starter Drake Smith for a 1-0 lead that held through three innings. At that point, the Roadrunners seized the upper hand with a five-run fourth off Bears starter Blake Rogers and reliever Jared Matheson.

UTSA had some good fortune in the uprising with Baylor defenders getting a glove on three of the five hits in the inning.

From there, UTSA cruised behind its bullpen of Fischer Kingsbery and Daniel Shafer to its fourth straight win this season and its first victory in Waco since 2017. The Roadrunners improved to 7-13 all-time against the Bears.

UTSA catcher Josh Killeen had a solid game defensively, blocking a few balls in the dirt and throwing out a runner at second base. The Roadrunners also turned a double play and played without committing an error for only the second time this season.

Smith (1-0) earned the victory in three innings of work, and he was backed up with solid performances by Kingsbery, who pitched the fourth and the fifth, and Shafer, who finished by working the last four.

Leyton Barry led the offense with four hits, while Shane Sirdashney, Caleb Hill and Killeen had two apiece. Hill and Killeen had two RBI apiece.

For the Bears, Rogers (0-1) took the loss after being charged with four runs in three and a third innings. Austin Stracener, a sophomore from New Braunfels Canyon, had three hits. Kobe Andrade slugged a solo home run in the sixth inning.


Baylor 2-6
UTSA 7-2

Coming up

Incarnate Word at UTSA, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.


To open the season, UTSA beat Tarleton State twice and then lost the third game of the series. UTSA followed with a win over Houston, a loss to Saint Mary’s, three more wins against Saint Mary’s and now a win over Baylor. Pitching is the story as the Roadrunners have posted a 2.81 earned run average and a .220 batting average against.

On offense, Leyton Barry leads the Roadrunners in batting at .432, followed by Antonio Valdez with .424 and Shane Sirdashney .405. In outscoring its opponents 65-35, UTSA has hit only one home run. .

The University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals fell to 3-5 on the season Tuesday night after the Texas State Bobcats escaped with a 12-8 victory in San Antonio. Rey Mendoza leads UIW through eight games with a .375 average. Wilson Ehrhardt, Alec Carr, Jimmy De Leon, Daniel Calabrese and Joe Jimenez have two home runs apiece.

Once a nuisance, Sidney Love’s brother is now her inspiration

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Where was UTSA guard Sidney Love on Monday night? She was in her dorm room, watching basketball on ESPN, naturally.

Sidney Love. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Sidney Love from San Antonio-area Steele High School, the youngest of five siblings, is averaging 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 18 games for the UTSA Roadrunners — File photo by Joe Alexander

“Made sure I watched it from start to finish,” she said.

Why? Well, she did have an older brother in the game, and he was blowing up against the ninth-ranked Jayhawks on national television.

Redshirt freshman guard Langston Love came off the bench and scored 11 points in the second half as No. 17 Baylor scored a 75-69 victory in the Big 12.

“Very proud of him after that performance,” Sidney Love said Wednesday afternoon.

For Love, UTSA’s precocious freshman guard from Cibolo Steele High School, it was just another memorable moment in a lifetime spent growing up in a big family. With four siblings — two older sisters and two older brothers — it’s never been dull.

As UTSA prepares to host the North Texas Mean Green in women’s basketball Thursday night, Love playfully recounted what it was like for her at home when she was a kid.

“Getting picked on all the time,” Love said, smiling mischievously, “having to do everything for them, because I was the youngest. It was still fun, though. We would fight. We had good times, too.”

Nineteen-year-old Sidney has always been tight with Langston, now 20, even when they were in grade school and arguing seemingly over every little thing.

“Growing up with him? We were (like) an old married couple,” Sidney Love said, grinning. “We’d fight every day.

Karen Aston. UTSA women's basketball lost to UTEP 74-67 in Conference USA on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Karen Aston’s UTSA Roadrunners host the North Texas Mean Green tonight at 7 in the Convocation Center. – File photo by Joe Alexander

“We’d get in trouble every single day. It was just, back and forth. He’d be snitching on me. I’d be saying, ‘No, I didn’t do it.’ Just fighting all the time.”

It wasn’t always the kid stuff, however.

“By the time we got older, we were just friends,” Sidney said. “We just wanted the same thing – (to) play basketball … After we passed that (initial) stage, it was OK.”

Both of Sidney’s older sisters played soccer, and both were so good at the sport that they advanced through youth leagues to play collegiately in San Antonio, Endasia at Trinity University and Camille at St. Mary’s.

Her brothers, meanwhile, trended toward basketball. After leaving Steele, Kijana Love played at the University of New Hampshire and at Baylor.

Langston Love, perhaps the most gifted athlete in the family, spent two years at Steele and two as a four-star recruit at Montverde Academy in Florida before linking with the Baylor program under coach Scott Drew.

For the 6-foot-5 Baylor guard, last year was a heartbreak.

He blew out a knee on the eve of fall practice and had to sit out the season. All of which made it even sweeter for UTSA’s Sidney Love to savor every minute of the second half of Kansas-Baylor.

“You know, he’s had some ups and downs,” she said. “He just came off his injury, so this was a game that really showcased him and how he can play.”

Langston Love’s little sister is coming along pretty well, herself.

Sidney Love, who plays both guard positions, is averaging 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds for the Roadrunners. She’s also assisted on 39 baskets.

She had 23 points and seven rebounds in a New Year’s Eve homecourt victory over the UAB Blazers.

The Roadrunners have struggled as a team, going 4-14 and 2-7 in Conference USA, but that was more or less expected coming off a seven-win season a year ago and trying to rebuild under second-year coach Karen Aston with eight newcomers, including five freshmen.

Love has struggled herself with the speed and physicality of the game, committing 57 turnovers, including 16 on the recent three-game road trip.

Aston isn’t stressed out about the mistakes, though. She knew from the moment she signed the former player of the year in San Antonio-area high school basketball that she would need to be patient with her.

Asked directly if she was happy with Love’s progress, Aston didn’t hesitate, “For sure.”

“I mean, I do think she could do more,” Aston said. “I think the physical part of the game is a lot for her and the other freshmen. And I think some of the teams in our league have really figured that out.

“I think she’s learning every single day. But what I think is going to make her so much better is when she can really take a deep breath at the end of the year and make an assessment, and say, ‘Ok, I do need to get stronger.’

“ ‘I do need to get more aggressive and more physical and take contact better.’ You can’t do that right now. She can’t fix that right now. You know, that’s just going to be an evolution for her.”

Love said she believes the Roadrunners have the time to make a move in the second half of the C-USA schedule.

“Definitely,” she said. “We have a whole second round of conference to really prove ourselves, to showcase what we can really do. Even if they might be counting us out early, like you said, we’ve got until March (for the C-USA tournament).

“It’s not going to happen right now. Nothing’s set in stone right now. So, we’ve got a long way to go to prove ourselves.”

Love said she can’t dwell on her legacy as a dominant high school player in the San Antonio area.

“I’ve learned that whatever work I did in the past, it doesn’t really matter any more, because I have to attack college even harder,” she said. “I could do more, just to be in the same place, because it’s a different level here than it was in high school.

“But I just have to stay consistent. I have to play hard. I need to have heart every single day I come in here, and I’ll be fine.”

Her older brother showed some heart earlier this week under the bright lights of ESPN Big Monday.

It was a performance that resonated all the way to San Antonio and inspired at least one fan of the game, watching on her laptop.

“I just want to do the same thing,” Love said, “and amplify it even more, because it’s great to watch somebody you know succeed. I just want to grow off that, feed off that energy.”

Houston ascends to No. 1 in AP basketball poll for the first time in 39 years

In 1983, Phi Slama Jama became all the rage in college basketball. Hakeem (formerly Akeem) Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Larry Micheaux made the sport a happening on campus at the University of Houston.

The Cougars reached No. 1 in the Associated Press poll en route to an NCAA tournament run that would take them to the national finals.

Thirty-nine years later, the Coogs have done it again. A team coached by veteran Kelvin Sampson and led on the floor by the likes of Marcus Sasser, Tramon Mark and freshman sensation Jarace Walker ascended on Monday to the top spot in the venerable poll.

“I’ve never been ranked No. 1,” Sampson, now in his 34th season as a coach, told the AP. “We were ranked all 12 years at Oklahoma. I’m sure we were ranked at Indiana. Then we’ve been ranked five or six straight years. We’re used to having a high level of success.”

The state of Texas is represented well in the latest edition of the weekly poll. Chris Beard’s Texas Longhorns are No. 2. Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears are No. 6.

North Carolina, ranked No. 1 all season up until today, lost last week to Iowa State and in a four-overtime game to Alabama at the Phil Knight Invitational. In the wake of those developments, Houston moved up after beating Kent State in its only game last week.

Sampson’s Cougars were denied a trip to the Final Four last spring when they lost an Elite Eight matchup to Villanova in San Antonio at the AT&T Center.

This year, they are 6-0 with victories over Northern Colorado, St. Joseph’s, Oral Roberts, Texas Southern, Oregon and Kent State. The Coogs haven’t given up more than 56 points in any of their victories.

Houston plays next on Tuesday at home when it hosts Norfolk State. The Cougars will face tough tests against Alabama and Virginia before opening American Conference play in late December against Tulsa.

AP Top 25 poll
Men’s college basketball
November 28, 2022

1. Houston 6-0
2. Texas 5-0
3. Virginia 5-0
4. Arizona 6-0
5. Purdue 6-0
6. Baylor 5-1
7. Creighton 6-1
8. Connecticut 8-0
9. Kansas 6-1
10. Indiana 6-0
11. Arkansas 5-1
11. Alabama 6-1
13. Tennessee 5-1
14. Gonzaga 5-2
15. Auburn 7-0
16. Illinois 5-1
17. Duke 6-2
18. North Carolina 5-2
19. Kentucky 4-2
20. Michigan State 5-2
21. UCLA 5-2
22. Maryland 6-0
23. Iowa State 5-1
24. San Diego State 4-2
25. Ohio State 5-1

North Carolina ends Baylor’s reign; son of the ‘Rocket’ rises

After one of the most deliciously discombobulated and outrageously epic games in NCAA tournament history, one that bolstered the tradition of a blue-blooded program and sent the defending national champions home early, RJ Davis thanked his father.

“I mean, shout-out to my dad,” North Carolina’s precocious sophomore guard told reporters in Fort Worth. “He was a big-time scorer in college. They called him Rocket.”

The son of the Rocket proved to be something special, in his own right, on Saturday afternoon. RJ Davis scored a career-high 30 points and passed for six assists as the Tar Heels downed the Baylor Bears, 93-86, in overtime at Dickies Arena.

North Carolina advanced to the Sweet 16 of the East region in Philadelphia next week despite blowing a 25-point lead in a crazy 10-minute stretch that left the game tied at 80-80 after regulation.

In overtime, Davis sank an extremely difficult driving layup and converted a three-point play with 1:18 remaining. When he sank the free throw, the Tar Heels led by six. The Bears couldn’t get closer than five the rest of the way.

As such, Baylor became the first No. 1 seed in the tournament to fall this weekend, and eighth-seeded North Carolina, criticized earlier this season for being soft, found its tournament mojo. At just the right time.

Davis credited his father, Rob Davis, a former 2,100-point career scorer at Mercy College, for all the guidance, all the rides to the youth tournaments — everything. For helping him along on his journey to the NCAA Sweet 16.

“He just always stayed on me,” said Davis, from White Plains, N.Y. “Even when I had good games or bad games, it was just good criticism, just to get me to the position where I’m at now. Give credit to him just for everything he’s done for me, you know, from workouts to, you know, (AAU), him spazzing on me in car rides. So shout-out to Big Rob.”

In defeat, Baylor’s Drew lauds his players for their character

Coach Scott Drew lauded the character of his players after the top-seeded Baylor Bears’ reign as national champions came to an exhausting end on Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth.

East region No. 8 seed North Carolina downed No. 1 Baylor 93-86 in overtime, ousting the Bears in a wild, round-of-32 game at the NCAA tournament.

At this time last year, the Bears were rolling toward their first title in men’s basketball and the first by a team from the state since Texas Western (now UTEP) won it all in 1966.

Today, Baylor’s season is over after finishing 27-7, which included a tie for first in the Big 12 regular season with Kansas.

The Bears won their first 15 games this season, before injuries and adversity caught up with them.

They forged a 14-4 record in Big 12 play, and then knocked off Norfolk State (Va.) in the NCAA’s first round.

In the Round of 32, they fell behind early against the Tar Heels, who were led by guard RJ Davis and forward Brady Manek

Ten minutes into the second half, the Bears’ deficit expanded to 25 points. With a pressing defense, they rallied furiously into an 80-80 tie at the end of regulation, only to see the Tar Heels escape in the five-minute extra period.

Davis had 30 points and Manek, who was ejected on a flagrant foul in the second half, finished with 26.

“Really proud of (our players’) effort and just how they carried themselves all year long,” Drew said in the post-game press conference at Dickies Arena. “15 and zero, (we) face a bunch of injuries, adversity. We could have gone away, end up (winning) conference.

“Same with today, you get down 25, it’s easy to fold. These guys don’t.

“It’s a joy to coach them every single day. We might be losers on the scoreboard today … Give North Carolina a lot of credit.

“Coach (Hubert) Davis is a great coach, does a lot of great things. They got a lot of great players and a great program. But I’m proud of these guys (with the Bears) and how they represent Baylor University.”

In the Bears’ season finale, guard Adam Flagler led with 27 points. James Akinjo produced 20 points, five assists and three steals. Jeremy Sochan produced 15 points off the bench, and Matthew Mayer scored 10.

Drew called his players “great young men” who had good attitudes about how to practice and play. “They really represented the school the right way,” he said.

The coach touched on the spiritual, as well, spelling out the theme of the team.

“What is impossible with man is possible with God,” Drew said. “I mean, to win back-to-back conference (championships) with three season-ending injuries, that’s phenomenal, along with all the other injuries these guys have overcome.

“And I know Adam will be excited to finally rest his body and get 100 percent healthy. He hadn’t been 100 percent healthy in six weeks or so. But it just shows you the toughness the guys have.”

Baylor played in the tournament without injured Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and LJ Cryer.

Freshman Langston Love, from San Antonio-area Steele High School and Montverde (Fla.) Academy, was lost to the team for the season in October, before the first game. Love is rehabilitating a knee injury.

North Carolina will challenge top-seeded Baylor in Fort Worth

The top-seeded Baylor Bears and the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels will open the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament on Saturday at 11:10 a.m. when they meet in an East Region game in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena.

On Thursday, Baylor, the defending national champions, advanced with an easy 85-49 victory over Norfolk State (Va.), while North Carolina also dominated, taking out ninth-seeded Marquette, 95-63.

First-year Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis suggested on Friday that just because the Bears have lost center Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua to an injury, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are vulnerable on the inside, an area where North Carolina excels with big man Armondo Bacot.

“Baylor is the defending national champions and the No. 1 seed because they have more than one guy,” Davis told reporters in Fort Worth. “They’re an outstanding team. And one of the areas that they are terrific at is rebounding the basketball on both ends of the floor.

“It’s something that we have talked about, you know, yesterday, today, in terms of trying to limit Baylor to one shot every possession. Because we know that a huge part of their offense is getting second-chance opportunities,” Davis said.

Davis said the same is true for the Tar Heels in terms of how they stress the need to hit the offensive boards.

“I always say, ‘Let’s get shots, let’s get good shots,’ ” he said. “But if we get good shots, we’re either going to make them. And if we miss, because of our pursuit of the offensive glass, we’re going to get second-chance opportunities.

“So it’s a great matchup of two teams that — talented teams that like to get out in transition, they like to get second-chance opportunities, that get after it on the defensive end.”

Baylor coach Scott Drew told reporters that injured guard LJ Cryer, who also sat out the opener, will not play against North Carolina.

“I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can’t,” he said.


The NCAA posts transcripts of all press conferences for credentialed media. The JB Replay gained access to the transcripts Friday afternoon.

Charting the top seeds

After Friday’s games, the top four seeds in each region produced a 15-1 record against lower seeds in the Round of 64. The only one to lose was East Region No. 2 seed Kentucky, which lost to Saint Peter’s Thursday night.

In the South Region, with the games cycling though San Antonio next week, top-seeded Arizona, No. 2 Villanova and No. 3 Tennessee all won in blowouts. Fourth-seeded Illinois was taken to the wire before downing Chattanooga, 54-53, Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Five from Texas stay alive

Five of the seven teams from the state of Texas that made the 68-team tournament field are still alive going into the Round of 32. After Baylor won easily on Thursday, while Texas Tech, Houston, Texas and TCU all won on Friday to advance.

Texas Tech, Houston and Texas all hit double-digits in 3-pointers made on Friday. The Red Raiders had 12 and the Cougars and the Longhorns both made 10. Texas Tech hit 12 of 20 from beyond the arc in a 97-62 victory over Montana State in the West Region.

In the South Region, fifth-seeded Houston opened the tournament in Pittsburgh and nailed nine from long distance in the first half alone. The Cougars held off the UAB Blazers, 82-68, on Friday night to set up a Sunday game against Illinois.

Also in the South, the ninth-seeded TCU Horned Frogs blew out the Seton Hall Pirates, 69-42. With the victory, TCU earned a Round of 32 game Sunday in San Diego against Arizona.

Sixth-seeded Texas won its first tournament game since 2014 with an 81-73 East Region victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Longhorns will also play next on Sunday, drawing the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was eliminated from the tournament on Tuesday. The Islanders lost to the Texas Southern Tigers.

The Tigers advanced to play Kansas on Thursday. The Jayhawks won, 83-56.

Seven teams from Texas make the NCAA tournament

A few nights ago, it appeared that the state of Texas might have a chance to get as many as 10 teams in the NCAA tournament. By the time the field of 68 was unveiled on Sunday night, the state had seven representatives in the Big Dance.

Here’s a quick glance:

Baylor — The Scott Drew-coached Bears (26-6) enter March Madness as the top seed in the East Regional, trying to win back-to-back national championships. Baylor will play Virginia-based Norfolk State (24-6) on Thursday at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth. Baylor, playing without injured big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, who is out for the season, finished 14-4 and shared the Big 12 regular-season title with Kansas. The Bears lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 quarterfinals.

Texas Tech — The Red Raiders (25-9) will play as the No. 3 seed in the West. Tech will take on Montana State (27-7) on Friday in San Diego at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl. Tech will face its initial NCAA test under first-year coach Mark Adams, an assistant under the Red Raiders’ previous coach, Chris Beard. The Red Raiders finished 12-6 and finished third in the Big 12 regular season. They lost to Kansas in the tournament title game.

Houston — The Cougars (29-5) will compete as the No. 5 seed in the South and will meet the UAB Blazers (27-7) on Friday inside PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Houston’s coach is Kelvin Sampson, a veteran who has worked previously at Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana. Sampson led the Cougars to the Final Four last year. Houston lost stars Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark to injury earlier in December but rebounded to win the AAC regular season (at 15-3) and tournament crowns.

Texas — The Longhorns (21-11) will move into NCAA play under first-year coach Chris Beard as the sixth seed in the East. They’ll play in Milwaukee on Friday against the No 11 seed Virginia Tech Hokies (23-12). Texas finished fourth in the Big 12 regular season at 10-8 and lost to TCU 65-60 in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Virginia Tech won the ACC tournament title as the seventh seed, routing Duke 82-67 in the championship game.

TCU — The Jamie Dixon-coached Horned Frogs (20-12) will take on the Seton Hall Pirates (21-10) on Friday in San Diego. The Pirates are the eighth seed and the Horned Frogs are ninth in the South Region. TCU beat Texas Tech and Kansas late in the regular season and the knocked off Texas in the Big 12 tournament. Seton Hall won seven straight before falling to Connecticut in the Big East quarterfinals.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi — The Steve Lutz-coached Islanders (23-12) will take on the Texas Southern Tigers (18-12) on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. Both teams are seeded 16th in the Midwest Region, with the winner getting a chance to take on the No. 1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks. Lutz, a San Antonio native, is in his first season as a Division I head coach. The Islanders swept three games to win the Southland Tournament, including back-to-back victories over No. 1 seed Nicholls State and No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana.

Texas Southern — The Johnny Jones-coached Tigers (18-12) scheduled their first 11 games of the season on the road. They lost the first seven before steadying the ship to finish in second place at 13-5 in the SWAC regular season. In the SWAC tournament, the Tigers beat Jackson State, Grambling and then toppled No. 1 seed Alcorn State for the conference title and their second straight trip to the NCAAs. The Tigers rely on defense and a big and talented front court to control the game.

Baylor firms up NCAA standing after victory at Iowa State

After losing three of their last four games, the Baylor Bears started to look like a team that might be slipping below eight line in the NCAA Tournament projections.

No more.

Baylor showed some toughness and resilience on the road Tuesday night, taking down 19th-ranked Iowa State, 73-69.

The Bears were bolstered by freshman Jared Butler’s 17 points. Also, Division III transfer Freddie Gillespie came through with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Coming into the game, Baylor had been projected as a No. 8 seed and Iowa State a No. 5 in various bracket projections.

Now, such thinking could be up to debate after the Bears handed the Cyclones their second straight home loss.

“They came in here and kicked our butts,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said in an Associated Press story. “We’ve got to find a way to be tougher. That’s the bottom line.”

Butler, a 6-3 guard from Reserve, Louisiana, produced a layup and a three-point shot down the stretch.

Gillespie, a transfer from Carleton College in Minnesota, provided an inside presence that allowed the Bears to outrebound the Cyclones, 44-28.

“I’m just really proud of the way our guys responded in a tough place to play down the stretch,” Baylor coach Scott Drew told the AP.


Baylor 17-9, 8-5
Iowa State 19-7, 8-5

Baylor routs Oklahoma, surges into tie for first in Big 12

The Baylor Bears on Monday night continued their surprising ascent in the Big 12 standings with an easy 77-47 road victory at Oklahoma.

Baylor is 5-1 and has won five straight in the wake of a season-ending knee injury to starting center Tristan Clark, a sophomore from Wagner.

With the victory over Oklahoma, Baylor moved into a tie for first in the conference with Kansas and Kansas State.

The Bears used a 30-8 run in the first half to break the game open, taking a 37-16 lead on a jumper by Freddie Gillespie with 2:42 left in the half.

Trailing by 18 at intermission, the Sooners never got closer than 16 in the second half.

Eleven players scored for the Bears, who shot 54.4 percent and were led by Makai Mason’s 12 points.

Baylor limited Oklahoma to 27.3 percent from the field.


Baylor 14-6, 5-2
Oklahoma 15-6, 3-5