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Baylor Handles Georgia 83-73

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After trailing by 3 at halftime, Baylor opened the second half on a 9-0 run and led the rest of the way.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Five Bears reached double digit scoring with 26 points off the bench. The Bulldogs had for double digit scorers and the games leading scorer in J.J. Frazier (21 points and 11 assists), but their bench contributed only 7 points.

After opening the game in zone defense, Scott Drew went man-to-man about midway through the first half and stuck with the scheme for the remainder of the game. As a result, Georgia was able to score more efficiently than their season average, though this was counterbalanced by Baylor's own excellent offensive effort. Whether Drew saw something in Georgia's film that suggested they would crack the zone is hard to know, but this game offered some good practice in an alternate scheme without much risk entailed.

Baylor dominated the paint on both sides of the ball. A contributing factor was certainly Yante Maten's foul trouble in the first half. He picked up his second personal foul less than 5 minutes into the game and sat until the last two minutes before halftime. His absence inside allowed Rico Gathers and Johnathan Motley to abuse Mike Edwards and Derek Ogbeide off of Georgia's bench.

Gathers finished the game with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Motley scored 12 points on 5-7 shooting with 4 offensive rebounds (6 total).

Georgia's defense struggled to disrupt Baylor's offense for most of the game. The Bulldogs, although they hustled for loose balls, only forced the Bears into 8 turnovers while coughing it up 10 times themselves.

Both teams struggled with fouls, especially in the second half when the referees seemed to emphasize the freedom of movement foul on the perimeter. Baylor ended the game with three players with 4 fouls. Georgia's Kenny Gaines fouled out in the closing seconds of the game as the visiting team tried to stretch out the end with fouls. Georgia had three other players tally 4 fouls each. Baylor was able to take advantage of its time at the free throw line and shot 78% as a team there. Georgia shot just 58% on 10 fewer attempts.

After the initial first half run, Baylor was able to keep the Bulldogs at bay with timely threes and defensive stops. The Bears' 5 blocks were just above their season average of 4 per game, and the Baylor help defense in the paint forced poor shooting nights inside for both Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier, who were a combined 4-12 from 2-point range. When he was on the floor, Maten was efficient scoring near the basket and from 16 feet (8-12 from the field), but his foul trouble limited his already sizable impact.

Baylor's back court played steadily throughout the game. They set up their larger teammates near the basket and took advantage of their outside looks. Starters Lester Medford and Al Freeman had a combined 11 assists to just 1 turnover with 25 points. Medford contributed 8 of those assists, while Freeman shot 3-5 on three-point attempts. Baylor's reserve guards King McClure and Jake Lindsey played well in limited time (only 22 minutes of play time between the two), and even shared the floor for a few minutes while Medford and Freeman rested. McClure was 2-3 from outside the arc. Lindsey dished out 2 assists and played some excellent man defense in the second half, and area where he has grown over the course of the season.

Overall, the Big XII went 7-3 against the SEC on Saturday. Both Oklahoma and Kansas pulled out thrillers against LSU and Kentucky, respectively; Texas, TCU, and Oklahoma State joined Baylor with double-digit victories against Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Auburn. All three of the Big XII's losses came on the road as Florida blasted WVU and Arkansas and Texas A&M outlasted Texas Tech and Iowa State. Kansas State was able to pull out a close one at home over Ole Miss.

On Monday the Longhorns (14-7, 5-3) come to Waco for a blackout game. Be sure to get there early with your black Baylor gear and support your Bears in a nationally televised game that won't be easy. Baylor is still tied atop the conference at 6-2 with Oklahoma and West Virginia, although three teams (Texas, Kansas, and Iowa State) are only 1 game back. Every game matters, and home wins are essential to success in the Big XII, once against the country's toughest conference.

Georgia Bulldogs
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Houston Kessler, F 15 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
Yante Maten, F 20 8-12 0-0 2-2 2 5 7 0 1 1 0 4 18
Kenny Gaines, G 35 5-15 3-7 1-2 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 5 14
Charles Mann, G 30 3-6 1-2 6-7 0 2 2 5 0 0 3 3 13
J.J. Frazier, G 34 6-12 4-8 5-7 0 4 4 11 1 0 4 4 21
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Kenny Paul Geno, F 13 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
Osahen Iduwe, F 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
E'Torrion Wilridge, F 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mike Edwards, F 27 1-2 0-0 1-6 2 2 4 1 0 0 2 4 3
Derek Ogbeide, F 16 2-2 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 1 0 2 0 2 4
William Jackson II, G 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
25-50 8-18 15-26 8 20 28 22 3 4 10 25 73
50.0% 44.4% 57.7%
Baylor Bears
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Rico Gathers, F 31 6-12 0-0 5-7 3 6 9 1 2 1 2 4 17
Taurean Prince, F 33 3-10 0-3 7-7 1 4 5 1 1 0 1 4 13
Al Freeman, G 29 3-6 3-5 5-6 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 2 14
Ishmail Wainright, G 29 1-3 1-2 1-2 1 2 3 2 1 2 1 3 4
Lester Medford, G 31 2-7 1-4 4-6 0 1 1 8 0 1 1 3 9
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Terry Maston, F 11 1-3 0-0 2-2 1 3 4 0 1 0 1 1 4
John Heard, F 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Johnathan Motley, F 14 5-7 0-0 2-3 4 2 6 1 0 1 2 4 12
Austin Mills, G 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Lindsey, G 9 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
King McClure, G 13 3-4 2-3 2-3 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 10
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
24-53 7-17 28-36 13 21 34 19 5 5 8 22 83
45.3% 41.2% 77.8%

via espn.com