BAYLOR 68, COLORADO 57: Bears prevail over Buffalos, garner second straight Big 12 victory

by dentonramsey

BAYLOR 68, COLORADO 57: Bears prevail over Buffalos, garner second straight Big 12 victory

By Denton Ramsey, NCAA Sportswriter/Big 12 Fans Baylor Correspondent

 

WACO, Texas – On a cool evening in Boulder, Colorado, the Bears clawed to an 11-point 68-57 victory over the Buffalos in Big 12 action on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the Coors Events Center.

For the Baylor Bears men’s basketball coaching staff, that means its time to break out the razor as an ongoing winning tradition lives on, after BU Head Coach Scott Drew and company – including Matthew Driscoll, who was the first to be initiated after forward Kevin Rogers and center Mamadou Diene shaved the assistant coach’s head after last weekend’s must-win over Kansas State – began the ritual as a way to motivate the team.

“We lost a lot of games in a row,” Drew said. “So for motivation, with each win, we shave a head; tonight it was Coach [Jerome] Tang’s turn. We played great defensively, taking away the back door shots and taking away the three-point shots.”

With the win, Baylor (19-8, 7-6 Big 12) moves into a two-way tie for fourth place with Texas A&M (21-7, 7-6) – as the Aggies picked up a 98-54 blowout victory over Texas Tech at Reed Arena, dropping the Red Raiders into a four-way tie for sixth place – while Colorado (10-17, 2-11) remains in the conference cellar.

“This was a huge win tonight – every win in the Big 12 is a huge win,” Drew said. “It starts with experienced players and teams. We’ve been on the losing end of the floor; we just needed more experience and more maturity.”

Rogers had a breakout game in Boulder, leading the BU men’s hardwood team with 24 points and 11 rebounds – going 8-for-9 from the charity stripe en route to his 11th double-double of the season.

If it takes a double-double for us to win every night, that’s what I’ll do,” Rogers told the Waco Tribune Herald. “With the guards we have, people key on them and I was able to make some shots. I always try to play with confidence and good things happen.”

Guard Henry Dugat also played a significant role in Wednesday’s BU victory over CU, netting 21 points – starting and staying hot from long range on 5-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc and hitting every free throw attempted (6-for-6) – while pulling down five rebounds and dishing out an assist.

We did a good job of controlling the tempo,” Dugat said in a FSN television interview following the Bears 11-point win. “We control our own destiny, and we can go as far as we want to go.”

Colorado, despite any and all efforts to remain in the game – including holding Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells to just five points and four assists – was led in scoring by guard Richard Roby with 17 points.

“I thought we did a good job on their [Baylor’s] leading scorer, Curtis Jerrells, but [Henry] Dugat and [Kevin] Rogers hurt us,” Colorado Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “With a team like that, it is hard to keep everyone down.”

After taking a 34-22 lead into the break on hot first-half shooting, the Bears somewhat cooled down – shooting 36 percent in the second half after hitting 50 percent though the first 20 minutes of play – before cruising to their second consecutive Big 12 victory while breaking the .500 barrier in conference play.

This game meant a lot to us,” Drew said in a radio interview after Baylor’s 68-57 victory at Colorado. “Our guards did a real good job of getting the ball to Kevin Rogers, and Henry Dugat had a hot hand tonight. We also played great defense and did a good job of getting to the line and making free throws.”

The latest Big 12 standings (Thursday, Feb. 28) have Baylor and Texas A&M holding a two-way tie for fourth (7-6) – with Texas (11-2), Kansas (10-3) and Kansas State (8-5) leading the pack – while a sandwich of teams (Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech) sit in a four-way tie for sixth (6-7).

With a mere three games remaining in the regular season – as well as three head shavings tentatively scheduled for the coaching staff – the Baylor basketball team aims to finish the season strong in high hopes of receiving a postseason invite to the NCAA Tourney.

“We haven’t looked too far ahead,” Drew said. “We always look to the next game.”

For the Bears, that next game is a match-up with Missouri on Saturday, March 1 at the Ferrell Center – with tipoff slated for 3 p.m. CT in Waco and scheduled to be televised on ESPN Plus.

After Saturday’s showdown, Baylor’s final two Big 12 games of the regular season are at home against Texas A&M on Wednesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. CT, and on the road against Texas Tech on Saturday, March 8 at 12:45 p.m. CT.

For the latest Baylor basketball news, scores and standings, check back on Saturday evening, March 1 after the Bears and Tigers face off at the Ferrell Center, for postgame quotes, notes, stats and more…

 

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

 

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