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Baylor Basketball

George, Bridges Lead Bears Past Norfolk State Spartans, 87-70

November 11, 2022
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WACO, Texas — The No. 5 Baylor Men’s Basketball team (2-0) topped the Norfolk State Spartans 87-70 thanks to 20-point outings from Keyonte George and Jalen Bridges.

Freshman standout George amassed 23 points to go along with his seven assists, five boards and three steals. Meanwhile, West Virginia transfer Bridges netted 20 points, three assists and five rebounds.

George kept the Bears in front of a pesky Norfolk State team with 15 first-half points on 5-for-8 shooting and 4-for-7 from behind the arch.

“I just try to make winning plays,” George said of his all-around contributions after the game, “Things I can control, falling back on that.”

Adam Flagler chipped in nine of his 18 total points in the first frame and the green and gold knocked down 10 of their fourteen first-half free throws as well.

Things were a bit sloppier than Scott Drew might have liked, with six first-half turnovers and 10 team fouls, including two each on Jalen Bridges, Flo Thamba and Josh Ojianwuna. Those miscues helped the Spartans cut a 30-15 deficit to just eight with the halftime score sitting at 42-34 Bears.

Starting the second half, the green and gold used an 8-0 run to stretch the lead to 17. George and Bridges both hit threes in that run.

The lead would never slip below 12 points from then on, and the deficit for the Sports reached as much as 21 points when Baylor’s leading scorers combined for yet another 8-0 run with around three minutes to go in the game.

During that run, Bridges landed hard on his tailbone and would not return to the contest, though he said he would be treating it before practice Saturday.

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

Keyonte punctuated his night and the win for the whole team with an alley-oop to Caleb Lohner with one minute remaining. The Ferrell Center was rocking and the freshman, as he was all night, was feeling it.

Overall the Bears finished with 15 turnovers and 20 team fouls. The Baylor bench also scored just 13 points. This team will have plenty of nights where the starters carry the team, but expect coach Drew to get more out of the bench going forward.

“We’re figuring out our team rotations and then Flo had foul trouble,” Drew said after the game, “If you don’t have that foul trouble I think you keep the heat, the pressure and the bench gets more involved.”

The bench was not alone in the struggles with LJ Cryer going 2-12 from three-point range, but the team shot 39.5% from three and 49% from the field overall.

Coach Drew, both before and after the game, praised the Spartans as a good, veteran team.

“They did a great job packing it in with their zone and their man is a no-middle defense,” Drew said after the game with regard to the Bears taking two-thirds of their shots from beyond the 3-point line.

Plenty of room for improvement, but coach Drew and the Bears will be happy with another 40 more minutes and another win under their belts this year.

Up Next: vs Northern Colorado, Monday 11/14 7 PM CST (ESPN+)

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George, Bridges Lead Bears Past Norfolk State Spartans, 87-70

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