No. 16 Baylor looks to recover from its first loss of the season when it hosts eighth-ranked Wichita State on Saturday with both teams addressing injury concerns before the showdown. The Bears dropped a 76-63 decision at Xavier on Tuesday and lost third-leading scorer Terry Maston for at least a month after breaking his right hand while Wichita State’s top scorer Landry Shamet suffered a right ankle injury last time out.
Baylor had two solid victories over Wisconsin and Creighton at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City before falling behind 21-8 out of the gate and giving up 14 offensive rebounds in the road loss to the Musketeers. “They have a lot of good shooters and we did a bad job of finding them in transition,” Bears leading scorer senior guard Manu Lecomte told reporters. “We tried to come back but it was just a bad night for us.” The Shockers bounced back from their first loss - 67-66 against Notre Dame on Nov. 22 - by rolling over Savannah State 112-66 on Tuesday, but Saturday will be a much tougher test. “It’s going to be a very physical, athletic affair,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall told reporters. “We’re going to have to execute better and be a tougher team, if we’re capable of doing that.”
TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT WICHITA STATE (5-1): Junior college transfer guard Samajae Haynes-Jones stepped up with a season-high 31 points in the win over Savannah State after managing 30 total in his first five games with the Shockers. “It was a confidence-builder, most definitely,” Haynes-Jones, who is averaging 10.2 points, told reporters. “Just getting out there and getting good minutes. I went out there and competed for my team and we got the win.” Shamet, who is scoring 14.2 per game, will likely be a game-time decision and second-leading scorer, senior center Shaquille Morris (13.7 points), has averaged just six the last two.
ABOUT BAYLOR (5-1): Lecomte tops the team in scoring (17.7 per contest) and has made 19 shots from 3-point range, but struggled from the field the last two outings (6-for-21) with 20 total points. That mini slump must end with the loss of Maston, who was grabbing 7.7 rebounds per game and shooting 63.3 percent from the field, and three available players are averaging more than 7.5 points. Senior forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (13 points, 10 rebounds per game) was held to eight and four, respectively, against Xavier while junior guard King McClure has combined to score 29 in the last two contests to push his average to 10.2.
1. Wichita State senior F Zach Brown, who scored 14 against Notre Dame, missed the last game due to a knee injury and his status is uncertain.
2. Baylor freshman F Mark Vital, who is averaging 5.7 points, scored a season-high 11 against Xavier.
3. The Shockers are averaging 90 points while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 78.5 from the free-throw line.
PREDICTION: Baylor 76, Wichita State 68