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Baylor Overcomes Kansas State in 2OT 79-72

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Behind Al Freeman's 11 overtime points, Baylor notched up its defensive energy to outlast a feisty Kansas State team in an ugly double overtime game.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Scoreless in regulation, Al Freeman opened up overtime by stealing the tip for an easy two points. He would score all 7 of Baylor's points in the first overtime and 4 of the team's 13 in the second.

Baylor's defense for the last 10 minutes of the second and and during both overtimes helped them overcome poor outside shooting and careless turnovers that plagued them all game long. The best offensive stretch for the Bears was an 11-0 run in the second five minute stretch of the second half. A DJ Johnson and-1, accompanied by a thoughtless technical foul on Taurean Prince (19 points, 13 rebounds), took the energy out of the arena and turned the game into a broken, stagnant contest. Both teams played high energy defense the final 10 minutes of regulation. Despite defending well for nearly all the shot clock, Baylor still managed to give Kansas State second chance opportunities by failing to collect the rebound after a desperation shot from the Wildcats. Up 2 points in the closing seconds of the first overtime, Ish Wainright allowed Wesley Iwundu (10 points, 10 rebounds) to beat him to the high point of the ball on an offensive rebound and put it back to send the game to a second overtime. That sort of play was typical of what allowed the game to stay close late despite Baylor's initially stout defense.

When they could hold onto the ball, Baylor's offense found decent shots. Too often, however, possessions were cut short by careless turnovers. The Bears gave up 19 turnovers and allowed Kansas State to collect 17 offensive rebounds, which gave the Wildcats the extra possessions they needed to hang around.

Johnathan Motley (15 points, 9 rebounds, 7-7 FG) had an excellent game. He was active on defense moving his feet and keeping his hands up to discourage passes into the corner. His steal and coast-to-coast dunk to open the second half set the tone for the Bears that was lacking in the first half.

For almost the entirety of the first half Kansas State thrived on back cuts and dump-off passes. Baylor's wing defenders in the zone were frequently caught defending too high, either ignoring or failing to see Wildcat players who had come across the baseline behind them. That kind of inattentiveness is what allows teams to eviscerate a zone defense, and Scott Drew cannot permit his players to allow such easy passes towards the basket. While Drew eventually got his team to play active, chaos-inducing defense in the second half, he should probably have considered switching to man defense a little in the first half, just to inject some energy into the game.

It was a full team effort for Baylor. Prince, while he had his share of poor turnovers and reckless fouls, played with relentless energy on both ends of the court. Lester Medford, whose off-ball foul put Kamau Stokes on the line to tie the game, dished out 13 assists to just 3 turnovers. Rico Gathers, who was on the bench during Baylor's second half run, came through in overtime with clutch rebounding and the game sealing block.

Stokes led all scorers with 20 points off the bench, shooting 3-6 from three. As a team, Kansas State shot 5-10 from deep, well above their season average of 29%.

Baylor now holds sole possession of first place in the Big XII with #1 Oklahoma coming to Waco this Saturday. The game tips at 11am, so have your coffee, get out to the Ferrell Center early, and be loud in support of your Bears!

Here are the rest of the stats:

Kansas State Wildcats
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Stephen Hurt, F 22 1-4 0-0 4-4 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 4 6
Wesley Iwundu, F 45 3-10 0-0 4-6 2 8 10 7 3 1 7 1 10
Dean Wade, F 38 4-12 0-0 1-3 6 3 9 2 1 3 1 1 9
Justin Edwards, G 38 2-7 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 5 2 0 3 2 5
Carlbe Ervin II, G 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 0
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
D.J. Johnson, F 27 5-10 0-0 1-2 5 2 7 1 1 0 3 4 11
Austin Budke, F 12 1-1 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 4
Kamau Stokes, G 37 7-14 3-6 3-4 1 1 2 3 0 0 3 3 20
Zach Winter, G 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brian Rohleder, G 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Barry Brown, G 24 3-6 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 4 3 0 4 2 7
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
26-64 5-10 15-21 17 21 38 23 12 4 22 23 72
40.6% 50.0% 71.4%
Baylor Bears
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Rico Gathers, F 37 2-3 0-0 7-15 4 4 8 0 3 3 0 3 11
Taurean Prince, F 46 7-18 2-7 3-4 3 10 13 1 1 2 6 3 19
Al Freeman, G 38 4-11 1-3 2-5 1 1 2 2 1 0 1 0 11
Ishmail Wainright, G 9 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 2 2 0
Lester Medford, G 45 3-7 1-2 2-2 1 0 1 13 3 0 3 3 9
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Terry Maston, F 17 2-4 0-0 1-1 1 0 1 1 2 2 3 5 5
Johnathan Motley, F 37 7-7 0-0 1-2 5 4 9 1 2 4 1 2 15
Jake Lindsey, G 9 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 1 0
King McClure, G 12 3-6 3-6 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 9
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
28-57 7-18 16-29 16 22 38 20 14 11 19 20 79
49.1% 38.9% 55.2%

via espn.com