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Baylor Basketball

Baylor's Guards Gallop Past McNeese State Cowboys, 89-60

November 23, 2022
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WACO, Texas — The No. 7 Baylor Men’s Basketball team (5-1) topped the McNeese State Cowboys 89-60 thanks to solid nights from its lead guards and some scrappy play by Jalen Bridges and Dale Bonner.

LJ Cryer had 14 first-half points to keep the Bears out in front of a gritty McNeese team that shot 50% from deep in the frame.

After struggling a little bit with the visitor’s zone defense in the first half, Baylor delivered a kill shot in the form of a 12-0 run six minutes into the second half.

“I didn’t know in the first half if we’d gotten back from Vegas or not,” said Baylor head coach Scott Drew after the game, “I thought the second half we did a much better job imposing our will defensively.”

The Bears like to play fast and get easy buckets in transition, but they had to spend a lot of time working the ball around the zone to get good shots in the first half.

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

After the game, Cryer said of the zone, “It slows the game down. That's really it.”

But it didn’t slow him down much early on, with Cryer scoring the Bear’s first 10 points.

The second half saw Baylor play better defense and therefore get out into transition more.

That's where the shooting and passing of the guards can shine brightest perhaps.

Speaking of that passing, the team as a whole was very good today, assisting 30 of the 34 made shots for the green and gold.

Adam Flagler had nine of those to accompany his 13 points, meanwhile, Dale Bonner led the team with 12 dimes to go with his seven points.

After that 12-0 kill shot run in second half, the Bears would keep growing the lead from 22 points all the way to 36 points thanks to some solid play from substitutes Joshua Ojianwuna (6 points), Caleb Lohner (6 points) and Langston Love (11 points).

In fact, with four minutes left, each Bear that had entered the game had at least five points.

Keyonte George surpassed that mark easily thanks to a hot shooting stretch where he made three threes in a row en route to a team-leading 17 points.

After not shooting all that well over the last couple of games, the freshman said he felt happy to see those shots fall.

And Cryer and the rest of the team are happy too. Not just for their teammate, but for a nice send-off into Thanksgiving break.

For LJ, after a tough 2021-22 season dealing with injury, he says, “It feels good to not have to worry about my foot or anything… I just feel free honestly.”

Elsewhere in the starting lineup, Jalen Bridges’ long-range shooting woes were not reversed today, but he worked hard over his eighteen minutes to score eight points and grab seven boards. The shot should come along eventually with this level of effort.

Up Next for the Bears, is a trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to face Marquette next Tuesday at 7:30 PM (FS1).

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

 

 
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