By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
No. 22-ranked Baylor men’s basketball defeated Creighton 65-59 Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo. to win the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
The Bears (5-0) trailed by nine at halftime, but held the Bluejays (4-1) to 28 percent shooting in the second half to get the win.
The Bears started the game on a 5-0 run on a 3-pointer from senior forward Nuni Omot and a layup by Lual-Acuil, Jr., but the Bluejays responded with eight straight points to take an 8-5 lead at the 15:25 mark of the first half.
Creighton freshman guard Ty-Shon Alexander provided a spark off the bench, knocking down three free throws and a 3-pointer as the Bluejays extended their lead to 16-9 at the under-12 media timeout.
Baylor battled back by attacking the rim, with McClure and senior guard Manu Lecomte each getting to the basket for a layup to make it a five point game, but Creighton junior guard Khyri Thomas scored four straight points to make it a 24-15 game with 6:30 remaining in the first half.
After back-to-back threes from Creighton to take their largest lead, Lual-Acuil, Jr. and McClure each scored on the inside as the Bears took a nine point deficit into the half, down 33-24.
A deep 3-pointer from McClure and a pull-up three from Lecomte cut the Creighton lead to 40-34 at the 15:40 mark of the second half.
A 10-0 run by the Bears made it a two point game after the Baylor defense held Creighton scoreless for six minutes. The Bluejays responded, however, extending their lead back to five on a layup from sophomore forward Martin Krampelj to make it a 45-40 game with less than nine minutes remaining in the game.
A contested jumper by Creighton senior guard Marcus Foster gave the Bluejays a slight cushion, but McClure attacked the rim and came away with an three-point play to tie the game at 50-50 with four minutes left.
Senior forward Terry Maston closed out the game for the Bears, scoring on a top-of-the-key 3-pointer and a driving floater to give Baylor a 57-54 lead before Maston found Lual-Acuil, Jr. for the layup to ice the game.
The Bears take on No. 15 Xavier at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in Cincinnati, Ohio.