Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Threes fall, so do Bears


The Baylor University men's basketball team scorched the nets from long range Tuesday in a 76-61 loss to Kansas University.

But did you notice?

Somehow, 11 Baylor three-pointers in just 21 tries didn't register a dent against a Jayhawk team that, quite frankly, didn't play very well at home. Most of the Bears' treys came with KU up big, after Baylor turnovers and a failure to complete two-pointers consistently allowed the more talented Jayhawks to pull away.

"We have to do more than just shoot threes against them," guard Curtis Jerrells said. "They did a good job defensively rebounding and all that. They put together a complete game, and we didn't."

Baylor (2-11) was 52 percent from three-point range, but just 32 percent from inside the arc. Other blah statistics for the Bears include 18 Baylor turnovers and 16 offensive rebounds by Kansas.

It wasn't all green mush, though - Baylor cut an 18-point first-half deficit to just eight points by halftime. The Bears, once left for dead when the Jayhawks went on a 24-5 first-half run, suddenly had a chance.

"We knew the first five minutes (of the second half) was going to be critical," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.

By the time Drew's five-minute goal came and went, KU had stretched the lead back to 14 at 44-30. From there, KU kept the disparity comfortable, even though a burst of Baylor three-pointers late brought some life to the struggling Bears.

"We shot the ball pretty consistently from the three. That's been a strength of ours," said guard Aaron Bruce, who had 11 points and three threes. "Tonight, turnovers and rebounding hurt us the most. They did a great job of blocking us out and forcing us into plays we didn't want to be playing."

Baylor has played half as many games as KU because of NCAA sanctions that wiped away its nonconference schedule. That has made the usual early season rust stretch into late February - a problem Drew hopes to fix come conference-tournament time.

"We were in it," Drew said of Tuesday's game. "The second half, they had the cushion, but it wasn't a 30-point game. I think we did a good job of competing for 40 minutes rather than 30 or 20 like we've done previously against the elite teams in the conference."


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