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Baylor Basketball

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

November 28, 2022

The football regular season is over, the basketball regular season is heating up, and volleyball's postseason is beginning. Here's a look at The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from the past week in Baylor Athletics.

Baylor Athletics

The Good

A Breather — There's a lot already said and plenty more to come about this year's football regular season. Indeed, there are many questions after Saturday's loss, but the ride isn't over just yet. There's still another game to play, which is great, one more shot at redemption for this team and no real stakes after two straight months of conference outings. However, this football program and fanbase probably need a hiatus, which they will get this week before bowl prep begins. But, of course, everyone would rather be gearing up for a showdown in Arlington on Saturday. 

Defensive Scores — The Baylor defense accounted for nine of the team's 27 points. Christian Morgan brought some heat and helped force Quinn Ewers into a terrible throw in his endzone, resulting in intentional grounding and a safety for an early 2-0 lead. Later, playmaker Al Walcott had an awesome sack and strip of Quinn Ewers that saw Gabe Hall take advantage of his opportunity. Hall scooped, rumbled, and scored from 16 yards out to give Baylor a lead in the 4th quarter. A fun highlight from this game and season. A shame that the game got away from them after this play. 

Jaylen Ellis TD — An utterly random appearance, but after missing the first attempt, Shapen was able to find the speedster Ellis for a 47-yard first-quarter score to give the Bears an early 9-0 lead. How random? Ellis' only other catch this season was a 50-yarder against Albany in the season opener. 

MBB — Scott Drew and the top ten Bears only had one game last week — and needed a few minutes to create some separation — but ultimately handled their business against McNeese State, 89-60. Adam Flagler, LJ Cryer, Dale Bonner, and Keyonte George were among those with notable contributions. A big week is upcoming up north against Marquette in Milwaukee and Gonzaga in Sioux Falls.

WBB Part 1 - The Wins — Nicki Collen and the #21 Bears went 2-1 on the week, including wins over Saint Louis and #23 Villanova in the Gulf Coast Showcase, although they fell short of claiming the top prize in Florida. Jaden Owens had big showings in their semis and final contests and earned All-Tournament team honors. Senior forward Caitlin Bickle hit five-straight free throws in the last minute to help seal the win against "Nova. The team will play again on Sunday at the Ferrell Center against Houston Christian.

Volleyball — The #17 Bears swept Kansas State 3-0 on Senior Day to close the regular season with a 23-6 record, including a 12-4 mark in Big 12 play. The postseason begins, and the Ferrell Center will play host to first and second-round NCAA Tournament regional action. The games start on Thursday in Waco, as the 15th overall-seeded Bears will face SFA following the Colorado-Rice opening contest earlier in the day.

Women's Tennis — The program signed Polish standout Zuzanna Kubacha this week for next year's roster.

JaMycal Hasty — Good seeing the former running back standout score for the Jaguars in their 28-27 upset win over Baltimore. Hasty caught a 28-yard second-quarter touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence and finished with five receptions for 67 yards plus the score. He also led the Jags with 28 yards rushing on 12 carries. And yes, you read that rushing mark correctly. It is the Ravens, after all. Still, Hasty played a significant role in a feel-good win for Jacksonville.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Texas Loss — Another week, another defeat for Baylor Football, this time to #23 Texas, 38-27 in Austin. This game had some winnable pockets of time, but the closing stretch was all Longhorns. Getting run on 20+ consecutive times as a defense is brutal. The regular season is over, and only an undetermined bowl game remains on the schedule for this Baylor squad. It's been a rough year and not exactly what many thought, even if you keep expectations in check. It's already led to plenty of questions about what comes next and will undoubtedly lead to many more in the coming days, weeks, and months. This game wasn't surprising, but it was disappointing that they played so poorly in the final stages after retaking the lead early fourth quarter. Like so many other contests this year, it was an ending filled with frustration. Last year they won these types of games. This year, they didn't, but now, what to expect?

Bottom Half — The Bears finished sixth in the Big 12 standings after being voted the media's preseason favorite. Clearly, many were drinking Dave Aranda-inspired green kool-aid, which I'm guilty of to an extent as well. Nevertheless, the Bears should not be finishing in the bottom half of this league, which is precisely what they did, falling to sixth at 4-5. It was a challenging year in the Big 12, but I feel confident saying that's a universally disappointing result.

WBB Part 2 - The Loss — The Bears fell to Michigan in the Gulf Coast Showcase championship game. Caitlin Bickle fouled out after getting hit with a technical for arguing her fourth foul call with over six minutes remaining. That hurt, but it wasn't the only reason for the result.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

WBB Part 3 - The Stat — In the Bears' title game loss, Michigan scored 23 points off 22 Baylor turnovers and scored 22 points second-chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds. Ouch. That'll do it.

Run Defense — The Longhorns ran 24 consecutive times to close the game. Credit to the Bears' defense for one thing: on the last drive to run out the clock, they at least stopped Bijan Robinson at the 4-yard line on third down. There was some pride shown and no give-up TD, but what an uncharacteristic feeling overall for this program in its recent history. The 'Horns will always have higher-rated talent, but they were also physical and nasty, just like the Bears have prided themselves on. That was probably part of the toughest thing to realize post-Texas, Kansas State, and TCU. Right now, the Bears have no momentum to carry over, unlike last year, and all the league's top contenders are winning and beating them somewhat at their own recently successful game and walking away with momentum. The Roschon hurdle? Insult to injury.

Interceptions — Jaylan Ford ended any hopes of a Baylor comeback, picking off Blake Shapen with the Longhorns leading 31-27, thus setting up the Longhorns' fatal TD blow. I understand turnovers happen, but this has spiraled quite a bit for Shapen over the last month. That's five picks in the final four games and four in the final three against Top 25 opponents. The one against Texas, as mentioned above, killed their last real chance to win the game. The week prior against TCU, the pre-halftime pick in the end zone came back to haunt them too. I could go on, but the bottom line, the lack of ball security is problematic.

Down the Stretch — Dave Aranda and the Bears dropped three straight to close the season, albeit to current Top 25 teams and this weekend's two Big 12 title game participants. A bowl game will help extend or break that mark, but still a rocky stretch to close the season.

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

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