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Bears look to break 2-game skid in Ames

Jan. 25, 2001

Cyclones have won 30 straight games at home

By ROB SINCLAIR

Sports Writer

The Baylor men's basketball team looks to snap a two-game conference losing streak against the Iowa State University Cyclones at 7 tonight in Ames, Iowa. The game will be televised live on cable channel 18.

Despite losing All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year Marcus Fizer to the Chicago Bulls, Iowa State is making do with a No. 17 national ranking and a record of 15-3 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Bears are 13-3 overall and 2-3 in conference.

The main reason Iowa State is still near the top of the Big 12 is the play of point guard Jamaal Tinsley. The Brooklyn native leads ISU with 13.4 points per game and more than six assists per game. He was named Big 12 Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 points in wins over the University of Colorado and University of Nebraska last week.

'He's one of the best point guards in the nation,' Baylor head Coach Dave Bliss said. 'He passes to the open man constantly, and now he's making his three-point shots.'

Forward Martin Rancik is second on the Cyclones with 13.2 points per game and has proven remarkably efficient, connecting on almost 58 percent of his shots. Meanwhile, guard Jake Sullivan has connected on 37-76 [48.7 percent] of his three-pointers to set an ISU freshman record.

'Iowa State is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, but we're also expecting a good attack inside,' Bliss said.

Baylor's inside attack will once again feature forward Terry Black, who leads Baylor in points, rebounds and steals. Guards DeMarcus Minor [14.5 points per game] and Wendell Greenleaf [12.1 ppg] will try to keep ISU defenders honest with his outside shot.

The key to a Baylor upset, however, will rest in the defense.

'We're a limited offensive team, so we need to play well defensively,' Bliss said. 'We want to mix our zone defense with our man-to-man and our half-court trap.'

After a loss last Saturday to the University of Texas at the Erwin Center in Austin, Baylor will face another hostile crowd at the Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones are even better at home than Texas, coming out victorious in their last 30 games.

'It's a difficult place to play, because they sell out every game,' Bliss said. 'But it's no problem being focused because every game of ours is more exciting than the last one.'