EditorsNote: minor edits
Five Baylor players scored in double figures, and a 20-2, second-half run powered the 24th-ranked Bears to a 72-63 win over Texas State on Friday in Waco, Texas.
Baylor (2-1), playing for the first time since a 67-64 loss to Washington on Nov. 8 in Anchorage, Alaska, jumped to an early 13-point lead over Texas State.
However, the Bobcats (2-2) chipped away to force a halftime tie, led by preseason Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Nijal Pearson. They came out of intermission and scored quickly on a Deshawn Davidson layup to go ahead 32-30.
The Bears rallied to score 20 of the next 22 points. Jared Butler led Baylor in scoring for a third consecutive game with 15 points, but the home team balanced its production effectively.
Freddie Gillespie and Devonte Bandoo both put up 11 points. Gillespie also finished with 11 rebounds. Mark Vital added 10 points, and MaCio Teague scored 12 points, three of which came on a crucial, step-back 3-pointer late in the second half.
As it had in the first, Texas State battled back from the double-digit deficit produced by the 20-2 run.
Caleb Asberry (12 points) and Marlin Davis (11 points) chipped in to complement Pearson (20 points), and the Bobcats pulled within six with 3:58 to go. Teague’s bucket from long distance quelled the rally.
Baylor shot just 6 of 23 from behind the 3-point arc while Texas State was 6 of 17 from long range. The Bears netted a 24-10 edge in fastbreak points and a 21-17 advantage in points off turnovers.
Gillespie keyed the defensive effort with four steals and two blocked shots. Teague and Matthew Mayer each had three steals, while Butler and Vital added two apiece.
Baylor played without Tristan Clark. The preseason All-Big 12 Conference big man, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in January, had returned for the Bears’ first two games. His absence from the lineup resulted in coach Scott Drew playing a smaller lineup than usual.
—Field Level Media