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Baylor Basketball

Cold Shooting Night against Creighton Ends Bears’ Season, 85-76

March 19, 2023
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DENVER — The No. 3 seed Baylor Men’s Basketball team (23-11) lost its NCAA Tournament second round matchup with the No. 6 seed Creighton Bluejays (23-12) by a score of 85-76.

The main culprit that ended the Bears’ season was a cold shooting night from deep coupled with continued defense woes against a good offense. Now Scott Drew and company call it a season after the first weekend for the second year in a row. 

LJ Cryer led Baylor with a career-high 30 points, while Adam Flagler and Jalen Bridges added 15 and 12 points respectively. 

Sadly for the green and gold, those efforts were not close to overcoming the 46% three-point shooting and great pick-and-roll offense of the Bluejays. 

Ryan Nembhard matched Cryer with his own career-high of 30 points, and five other Creighton players scored at least eight points. That includes 17 points from Trey Alexander and 11 from Arthur Kaluma.

The Bears’ three-point shooting — 5-for-22, 23% — was a far cry from the 46% (11-24) from deep that the Bluejays posted.

While the typical struggles of rebounding and giving up points in the paint were largely absent for Baylor in the first half, the Bluejays were 7-for-15 from deep. Compare that to a paltry 2-for-15 for the green and gold, and the path to the eventual 10-point halftime deficit for Baylor becomes much clearer.

The Bears put up 13 more shots than their opponents, but a 1-for-14 stretch in the middle of the first half allowed the Jays to build their lead to 24-14. 

Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor looked ready to make comeback runs a few times with Adam Flagler going on a 4-0 spurt just after the under-eight media timeout or Jalen Bridges flying in for a cutback dunk later in the half. However, the cold shooting would outlast the very good defensive effort for the Bears.

Keyonte George also struggled mightily in the period going 1-for-8, netting just two points, and not being able to finish over or through Creighton’s 7-foot-1 center Ryan Kalkbrenner.

In the second half, the Bears shot markedly better at 60% from the field and 3-for-7 from deep.

Jalen Bridges and LJ Cryer made a big push for the Bears early on in the period to cut the Creighton lead from 10 to five at 50-45.

However, the Bluejays responded with an 11-4 stretch that essentially sealed the win. 

The closest Baylor got after that was nine points down at 79-70 with just over three minutes left to play. 

Creighton stayed perfect from the free throw line on the night to ice the game away, and Scott Drew has now seen his team exit the NCAA Tournament in the round of 32 for the second straight year.

Discussion from...

Cold Shooting Night against Creighton Ends Bears’ Season, 85-76

2,494 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by TeamPlayer
WA Jim
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This team was just painful to watch for most of the season. The lack of defense across the board and the lack of any offensive front court game was a problem all year, Based on what I saw, I think they may have outperformed on their conference record. Here's to wishing CSD and staff all the best in attempting making improvements for next year. A lot of work to be done. Maybe we miss Tang more than we all thought?
TeamPlayer
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Love this team, these players, this staff. Always grateful for the effort they give to represent Baylor. Disappointing loss, this season never really got going. We fell below our standard, and that hurts. Retool and come back next year. We'll be back.
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