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Baylor Basketball

Bridges, Bears Knockout No. 18 BYU Cougars 81-72 in Conference Home Opener

January 9, 2024

WACO, Texas — The No. 14 Baylor Men’s Basketball won their first-ever conference game at the Foster Pavilion over the No. 18 BYU Cougars (12-3, 0-2) by a score of 81-72.

Jalen Bridges led the Bears with an outstanding 25 points and — as one of the elders of the group — helped this squad to a 2-0 league start.

In the first Big 12 basketball matchup between the two schools, physicality was key. Every point in the paint was hard-earned and 39 total fouls were called, 24 of which were on BYU.

In the first half, BYU built a seven-point lead spreading the ball around before the Bears went on an 8-0 to even things up. 

Cougars did take a 39-33 lead into halftime, but the green and gold were hanging tough.

After a pair of quick threes grew the Cougars lead to 45-36 early in half two, the Bears answered the bell with a 10-0 run capped by a Langston Love triple to take a 46-45 lead.

The lead would change hands eight more times before Baylor wrested final control from the visitors. 

With about nine and a half minutes to play, the Bears embarked on a modest 7-0 run that would include the final lead change. A Bridges layup, a Jayden Nunn layup and a Langston Love three pushed the score to 61-57 Baylor.

From there Nunn answered consecutive BYU baskets with five points of his own and Scott Drew’s squad collectively finished strong. The green and gold built a late lead as high as 11 before settling at the final scoreline of 81-72.

Nunn finished in double figures with 11 points where he was joined by Ja’Kobe Walter with 16, Langston Love with 15, RayJ Dennis with 10 and the aforementioned Bridges.

Only one more Bear scored any points on the night: Josh Ojianwuna with four.

The rotation is shrinking now with five players playing 28 or more minutes each.

But that comes with the increased competition level of Big 12 play and it also brings positives like 14-5 turnover margins in favor of the Bears as we had tonight.

Baylor will look to finish the script flip on last year’s 0-3 start to conference play with a win over Cincinnati (12-3, 1-1) on Saturday here in Waco. That game will be the first nationally televised game from the Foster Pavilion with ESPN broadcasting the game. Tip-off is slated for 7 PM.

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Bridges, Bears Knockout No. 18 BYU Cougars 81-72 in Conference Home Opener

2,441 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by MrGolfguy
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"as one of the elders of the group" - love the subtle (intended?) dig at BYU
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