LAS VEGAS – Scott Drew I would like to forget the first 10 minutes of Friday’s second-half at T-Mobile Arena’s Continental Tire Main Event.
Trailing by Three at the halftime break, 16thVirginia, which is ranked No. 2, came out on fire. Virginia hit 10 of its first 12 shots, made eight 3-pointers, and outscored No. 5 Baylor, 35-0, to win an 86-79 over the Bears (3-1).
“Obviously, there are always going to be spurts in games,” said Drew, whose team suffered a rare loss in a regular-season tournament, “but you can’t allow 10-minute spurts like that. . . . They really started to get going after those 10 minutes. This was going to be a tough game.
Baylor led by as many as seven in the first half and was still up 33-30 at the break, knocking down 7-of-17 from 3-point range and getting 13 points from LJ Cryer. Armaan Franklin, Kihei and Clark each hit treys in just a few minutes of second-half play and quickly took the lead.
Franklin scored a career-high 26 points and hit three 3-pointers in that early run in the second half, when the Cavaliers (3-0) turned a three-point deficit into a 22-point lead, 62-40.
“We have to do a better job getting easy buckets,” Drew said. “Normally, we get them off the defensive transition. But, we didn’t get any stops over 10 minutes. We didn’t have the opportunity to do this. This is what fuels you. It’s difficult to score in half court against Virginia.
The Bears didn’t have any problem scoring, putting up 46 second-half points and getting four players in double figures, led by freshman Keyonte George Cryer and George with 20 and 19 respectively. George scored 14 points after a difficult first half. He missed five of his seven first shots.
“Just trying to make winning plays . . . George, who scored 20+ points for the second consecutive game in four games, said that George can play defense or get rebounds. “I was flat from the start and had to pick up my game to give us a chance of winning. I managed to get a good 10 minutes last time.”
Scoring eight unanswered points in less than a minute, the Bears were able to whittle away at the deficit, pulling within 62-48 on a dunk by Caleb Lohner George’s alley-oop pass. Lohner finished with 11 points and five boards off the bench.
“Early in the year, when you play games like this, you have a chance to let freshmen and first-time guys see what it’s like,” Drew said, “this atmosphere and playing against quality teams that are Sweet 16, Final Four-type teams. It allowed us as coaches to help them develop and to see other combinations that might have allowed us win. Caleb at (post), was a viable option that gave us a lift.
Adam Flagler The Bears were able to pull within six minutes of the end with a score of 68-58, thanks to four 3-pointers. They also had seven assists and 15 points. Dale Bonner A driving layup made it a 79-73 game. However, the Cavaliers won it by closing it out with 7-of-8 free throws in last minute.
Virginia shot 65% in the second half (13-of-20), including a sizzling 8-of-12 from outside the 3-point arc. Kadin Shedrick (17), and Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas (14) both scored in double figures. Reese Beekman also had double-doubles with 10 and 10 assists.
Baylor will face eighTh-ranked UCLA (3-1) in Sunday’s 4:30 p.m. consolation game, while Virginia advances to play 19thIn the championship match at 2., Illinois (4-0) was the top-ranked team. Terrance Shannon Jr. from Texas Tech scored 26 points to help the Illini overcome a 15-point deficit in the second quarter and defeat the Bruins,79-70.
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