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Bears ready for 'Horns in men's basketball

Jan. 19, 2001

Texas winner of 11 straight games in Erwin Center

By ROB SINCLAIR

Sports writer

The Baylor men's basketball team will look to claw its way back above the .500 mark in Big 12 Conference play Saturday, as the Bears battle the University of Texas at 12:45 p.m. in Austin.

Knocking off the Longhorns in the Frank Erwin Center, however, is easier said than done.

Texas (14-3 overall, 3-1 in the Big 12) is 11-0 at home, including a 60-56 win last Monday over the University of Connecticut, which was ranked No. 15 at the time. Dating back to last season, the 'Horns have won 23 straight at home.

Guard Darren Kelly leads the Texas attack with an average of 18.6 points per game. Swingman Maurice Evans and forward Chris Owens also average double-figures with 16.2 and 14.1 points per game, respectively.

One Baylor player who may be able to provide tips on controlling part of the Texas offense is forward Terry Black.

He played with Owens on the Big 12 All-Star team that toured Austria this summer.

'They feed off Chris,' Black said. 'He frees up their outside shooters.'

Black added that his camaraderie with Owens would have to go on hold for 40 minutes Saturday.

'I'll talk to Chris before the game,' he said, 'but once the ball goes up, that friendship goes out the door.'

Of course, it's entirely possible that the Longhorns might shut themselves down. Despite its 14-3 record, Texas is only shooting 41.5 percent as a team. Of course, Texas is holding opponents to 38.1 percent shooting, so the Bears will have to work hard to get open looks at the basket.

'Well, we've got a good defense too,' Baylor center John Flippen said, noting that Baylor's opponents are only shooting 37.5 percent. 'It'll be a good defensive game on both sides.'

Black added that Baylor's 'zone defense right now is the best it's been this year.'

Baylor guard DeMarcus Minor excelled at connecting on open looks the last time out, tying his career-high with 27 points Wednesday night against Oklahoma State University. He is second on the team in scoring average behind Black with 14.1 points per game.

Baylor last won in Austin during the 1997-98 season.