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No. 10 Baylor closing down Ferrell Center vs. winless MVSU

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No. 10 Baylor will look to snap a two-game losing streak and make a final set of memories on its longtime home court when it hosts winless, vagabond Mississippi Valley State on Friday in Waco, Texas.

It will be the last game played by the Baylor men’s team at the venerable Ferrell Center, which has been the Bears’ home since 1988. Baylor will move across I-35 to the new Foster Pavilion for its game against Cornell on Jan. 2, leaving behind the facility where it has forged a 400-169 record over the past 35-plus seasons.

Baylor (9-2) heads home after a 78-70 loss to No. 21 Duke on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York. With the game tied at 61 with 6:30 to play, the Bears missed five straight shots, three free throw attempts and had a pair off turnovers during a crucial stretch as Duke pulled away.

RayJ Dennis led Baylor with 17 points while Ja’Kobe Walter added 15. Yves Missi racked up 11 points (all in the first half), 10 rebounds and five blocks and Jalen Bridges scored 10 points.

“In that final stretch, we had some silly turnovers and it led to them getting in transition and hitting some easy shots,” Baylor assistant coach Jared Nunez said on the team’s radio broadcast. “Then we kind of got out of character with our shot selection and when you’re playing a good team like Duke, you can’t do that because they make you pay for it.”

It was Baylor’s second straight loss to a marquee team on a neutral floor. The Bears lost to Michigan State 88-64 in Detroit on Saturday but played much better against Duke.

The Delta Devils (0-11) have picked a very difficult venue and opponent to try to win their first game of the season.

Mississippi Valley State travels to Waco after a 79-50 loss at Tulsa on Tuesday. Arecko Gipson led the Delta Devils with a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds while Rayquan Brown added 17 points and Donovan Sanders had 10 in the setback.

Friday’s contest is the third this season for the Delta Devils against a Big 12 team, following losses to Oklahoma and TCU. They also played at Gonzaga and at Connecticut.

Mississippi Valley State has lost its 11 games this season by an average of 33.4 points, are shooting just 35.6 percent as a team and have committed an average of 17.2 turnovers per contest.

The battle against Baylor is the next-to-last game for Mississippi Valley State’s season-opening 13-game road trip.

“It’s a learning experience — teaching them how these teams play with intensity, energy and effort,” coach George Ivory said. “If you see it, it’s a lot different than when I’m saying it to them.”

Mississippi Valley State will play at San Francisco on Dec. 30 before starting SWAC competition in the home opener against Alabama State on Jan. 6.

–Field Level Media

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