Men’s basketball downs Florida Gulf Coast University

Junior forward Johnathan Motley pulls up a jumpshot during the Bears’ game against Texas on Feb. 1, at the Ferrell Center. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

Baylor Men’s basketball continues in its winning ways, as the Bears clawed past Florida Gulf Coast University Friday night at the Ferrell Center, 81-72.

Junior guard Manu Lecomte lead the Bears in scoring with 19 points, along with four assists and two steals. Senior forward Al Freeman, was close behind with 18 points and one assist. On defense, junior forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. dominated with five blocks off the board.

“We expected a dog fight for sure,” Freeman said. “They played a lot of high measured games…they had experienced guys so they weren’t going to come in here and back down, or when adversity hit them, just fold.”

The Bears had a close game against the Eagles, trading baskets in the first half of the game. However, by halftime, Baylor was up 42-32.

Coming into the second half, FGCU came out strong, scoring 40 points in the half. At one point, the Eagles gained multiple leads on the Bears. However, Baylor fought back, hitting a turning point in the middle of the second half and go on a 12-2 point run. The Bears scored 39 points in the second half and ultimately overcame the Eagles.

“I thought we struggled a little bit in the beginning of the second half. Started hitting shot,” Lecomte said. “I thought overall we came back pretty good.”

Head Coach, Scott Drew said he was satisfied with the results of the game, and knows that close games are something his team will need to expect.

“This was really good for our team because we needed a close game before we went to Atlantis, not that I wanted to have one,” Drew said. “You’re gonna have a lot of close games and you need to have some earlier in the season to get used to things.”

The Bears will be back in action 1:30 p.m. Wednesday against Virginia Commonwealth University as they travel to Paradise Island, Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.