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Baylor Basketball

Mayer Leads Bears Past Norfolk State, 85-49

March 17, 2022
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FORT WORTH, Texas — The No. 1 seed Baylor men’s basketball team topped the No. 16 seed Norfolk State Spartans 85-49 to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Matthew Mayer set a new career-high with 22 points while four other Bears scored in double figures. Baylor looked like a well-rested and well-oiled machine.

Adam Flagler started the game off with a personal 5-0 run on his way to a solid 11 point performance.

After that, the threes started falling for Baylor. Five different Bears would hit threes in the game, and four hit from downtown before six minutes of game time had passed. Baylor shot 11-27 or 41% from three for one of their best shooting performances recently.

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Where Scott Drew’s squad really pulled away was a 10-0 run midway through the half to expand the lead to 28-10.

That run was a microcosm of the day for the Bears. Mayer, Sochan, Brown, Akinjo, and Flagler all scored in that span and their defense was stifling to the Spartans.

The only player to have any real offensive success for Norfolk State was MEAC player of the year Joe Bryant with 15 points.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Sochan scored 15 of his own, Flo Thamba added 14, and James Akinjo registered a perfectly round double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

After closing out the first half with a bang courtesy of a Matthew Mayer Dunk, the Bears had a lead of 43-27 that was never in doubt in the second half.

Runs of 6-0, 7-0, and 13-0 grew the lead as high as 37 points before it settled at 36 by the end.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In the final minutes, as fans started looking forward to who Baylor might face in the next round, the Bears were busy cheering on Zach Loved and Jordan Turner as they scored. They were locked in for their teammates.

When asked about what’s next, coach Scott Drew said “This is a one-game tournament… It’s about locking in and giving yourself every chance possible to win that next game.”

So the Bears will try to stay locked in over the next two days and repeat their winning process on Saturday against either North Carolina or Marquette.

Survive. Thank God. Advance.

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Mayer Leads Bears Past Norfolk State, 85-49

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