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Bears hope to gain revenge on OSU

Jan. 31, 1997

By Jeff Huett

Lariat Sports Reporter

As the Baylor men's basketball players entered their locker room inside the Ferrell Special Events Center on Thursday, each stopped and took a glance at the posted copy of the USA Today Sports web page recounting the Bears' upset victory over No. 23-ranked Texas.

However, the Bears know that the Oklahoma State Cowboys come to town on Saturday for a Big 12 conference game. In Stillwater last Saturday, the Cowboys handed the Bears their worst loss of the season, 89­61. In that game, Oklahoma State began with a 14­0 run and basically put the Bears out of contention early.

'In the Big 12, if you have a five to six minute lull in execution, it's hard to recover,' Baylor head basketball Coach Harry Miller said. 'When we play Oklahoma State Saturday, we'll run the same offense and defense; we're just going to execute it this time.'

The Bears are hoping to carry the momentum from the Texas game into this match-up. The men's basketball team was able to pull off the 76-72 upset with a miracle three-pointer from senior guard Damond Mannon with three seconds left on the shot clock and 20 seconds left in the game.

'The Texas win was definitely a big one,' Patrick Hunter, a Texarkana, Ark., junior said. 'It has boosted our momentum and it has given us the incentive to work harder and get better.'

The Bears are also counting on forward Doug Brandt, a Hastings, Neb., senior, to continue his point production.

'Doug has continued to work and develop and has gotten used to rotating inside and out,' center Brian Skinner, a Temple junior, said. 'He is now reaping the fruits of his labor.'

Miller has a similar outlook on Brandt.

'Brandt is the most consistent player in effort and production. With this being his senior year, he is playing every second with a sense of urgency.'

Brandt is the second leading scorer on the Baylor squad, averaging 12 points-per-game. But in the Bears' past two home games, Brandt has lead the Bears in scoring with 39 points.

The Bears are also counting on improvement from the free-throw line. The Bears shot a dismal 41.7 percent against Colorado, but they improved that mark to 67.7 percent against the Longhorns. In that game, Baylor shot 21­31 from the line and won by a four-point margin.

'We have been putting more emphasis on the mental aspect of free throws,' Hunter said. 'But we really haven't been working on them any more than usual in practice.'

The Bears are also quick to point out their 9­2 record at home in the Ferrell Center. The Bears only two losses at home have come against ranked teams this season.

'I'm looking forward to playing Oklahoma State at home,' Skinner said. 'We look like a different team when we play here.'

The Baylor team is 13­7 on the season and 2­6 in the Big 12, but more importantly, the Bears are making a fresh start. After going a perfect 8­0 in the month of December. and then falling to 2­6 in the month of January, the Bears hope to start out February. on a winning note.

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