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On Friday night, we were reminded why we watch college basketball. No. 3 Kentucky came into Arlington with three superstar Texas freshmen who Baylor had failed to entice in the last recruiting cycle. No matter. By the time the day was done, Baylor proved to be the better team for the second season in a row.
Baylor came out strong early with a 16-7 lead behind two early dunks from Cory Jefferson. Kentucky would fight their way back to 29-29 behind four three-pointers combined between Aaron Harrison and James Young. Kentucky’s run would coast them to a 38-35 halftime lead.
Baylor men’s basketball has gotten off to a hot start this season. The Bears have won seven of eight, with their only loss against now No. 4 Syracuse in the Maui Invitational championship game.
With the momentum, No. 20 Baylor (7-1) will look to upset No. 3 Kentucky (7-1) today at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game will be the third of the season for Baylor against a team that has been ranked in the top 25.
On April 28, center Isaiah Austin surprised Baylor fans by deciding to return for his sophomore season. Ever since being recruited as a consensus five-star prospect, it was assumed that Austin would leave after his freshman season.
Coming off his freshman season, the Basketball Times named Austin a Freshman All-American. The league’s media also named him All-Big 12 Second Team center. Austin averaged 13.0 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game and 1.7 blocks per game on 45.9 percent from the field.
For the first time in over 20 years, No. 20 Baylor basketball was invited to take part in the Maui Invitational Tournament, one of the biggest preseason tournaments in the nation. Baylor fought their way to wins over Chaminade and Dayton before falling to No. 8 Syracuse in the title game.
The Bears opened the tournament against Division II Hawaiian college Chaminade. The Silverswords came out with a strong fight in the first half behind senior guard Christophe Varidel. The Swiss guard hit seven three-pointers in the first half to pull Chaminade within 45-45 at the half. Varidel finished with 42 points for the game, one off of the tournament record of 43.
The Bears earned a 69-64 victory Wednesday at the Ferrell Center to move to 4-0 on the season, despite letting a double-digit lead disappear when Charleston Southern cut the lead to 67-64 in the waning minute of the game.
Baylor sophomore center Isaiah Austin set the tone early with a massive block on the first play of the game for Baylor. The Bears scored the first eight points of the contest, including two jumpers from senior power forward Cory Jefferson.
No. 20 Baylor basketball defeated Charleston Southern 69-64 on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.
Senior power forward Cory Jefferson led with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks on the night for Baylor.
Sophomore center Isaiah Austin had 16 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Senior guard Sheldon Strickland led CSU with 14 points on 4-for-5 from three in the loss.
Baylor men’s basketball has started off the 2013-14 season with three straight wins in non-conference play. The men will look to make it four straight against Charleston Southern (2-2) in the first-ever meeting between these two opponents. The Bears will host Charleston Southern at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.
Senior guard Brady Heslip leads Baylor with 16.3 points per game on 51.9 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from the three-point line. Junior point guard Kenny Chery is averaging 14.3 points per game and 3.7 assists per game on 57.7 percent from the field.
Baylor men’s basketball extended the nation’s second longest win streak to eight games, and the Bears moved to 3-0 on the season with a 87-68 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday at the Ferrell Center.
Baylor got off to a slow start in the first half, missing four straight shots to start the game. ULL jumped out to a 9-3 lead over Baylor with 14:50 left in the first half. The Bears would then go on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 16-11 lead after a three-pointer by junior point guard Kenny Chery. After cutting the lead to 16-15, ULL would never get within more than three points.
Baylor basketball opened its home season Tuesday afternoon at the Ferrell Center with a hard-fought 66-64 win over SEC opponent South Carolina. With the showcase win in front of a national television ESPN audience, Baylor (2-0) has won eight straight home openers in the Scott Drew era.
Both Baylor and South Carolina started hot right out of the gates. The two teams came out shooting 15-for-17 from the field, including 3-for-3 from the three-point line. South Carolina jumped out to a 17-19 lead with 12:58 in the first half.
Baylor basketball opened its season last Friday night in the 2013 Bucks and Boots Showcase at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Bears played a 2013 NCAA Tournament team in the Colorado Buffaloes for a rematch of an early-season matchup last season.
Baylor led from start to finish in a 72-60 win over Colorado.