The Baylor Bears played a physical brand of basketball on both ends of the floor, turning the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions over 17 times and getting to the line 26 times, a season high.
LJ Cryer led all scorers with 20 points and 4-9 shooting from three. He started the game 3-3 from deep. That set the tone for the rest of the game as the Bears shot 40% from deep.
Cryer’s bench-mob partners Jonathan Tchamwa-Tchatchoua and Jeremy Sochan added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Both had thunderous dunks and changed the game defensively when they came in. They have obvious defensive chemistry, and Tchamwa-Tchatchoua is clearly taking ownership of the defensive end. He is constantly communicating with his teammates on the floor and pointing things out to Sochan and Kendall Brown (11pts, 4 Rebs, 5-7 FG). Tchamwa-Tchatchoua added 13 rebounds and a couple of assists on the day. He brings energy and serious intensity to every play. On one play, he came out and defended a Golden Lion guard on an island. He was low in his stance, kept the guard in front, then roared in victory when the shot clock sounded without even a shot attempt.
Matthew Mayer (14 points, 7 Rebs, 4-5 3PT) played his most efficient game so far, finally finding the reliable outside shot he had last season. He was only called on to play 19 minutes in the blowout. Flo Thamba (4 pts, 10 Rebs) similarly played just 15 minutes, giving way to Zach Loveday (5 pts, 3 Rebs, 1-2 3PT) with over 8 minutes left in the game.
Adam Flagler had a difficult night scoring the ball, although he remained engaged on the defensive side of the ball. He was 1-7 from the floor for only 3 points in 21 minutes. He was outscored by reserve Mitchell Paul (5 pts, 2-2 FG, 2 stl) who played just 3 minutes. Flagler is clearly still dealing with an injury to his off hand. Hopefully the 8 days before the next game help him recover.
Baylor will host the Villanova Wildcats in Waco on December 12th at 2pm, broadcasted on ABC. Villanova is ranked #6 at the time of writing.
They are led by super senior guard Collin Gillespie, who missed last season’s NCAA Tournament with a knee injury. Gillespie is averaging 17 points per game.
Villanova is 6-2 on the season with an overtime loss to UCLA and to #2 Purdue, who will likely be ranked #1 come Monday thanks to losses by both Duke and Gonzaga this week.
KenPom has Baylor as a 5-point favorite in a matchup that will be one of the biggest tests of the entire season for Scott Drew’s squad.