By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
No. 16 Baylor men’s basketball couldn’t close out a tight game in Anchorage, Alas. as they fell to Washington, 67-64. The Bears held a 13-point lead with under nine minutes to play, but the Huskies finished on a 21-5 run.
With 8:30 left in the game, Baylor led 59-46. The Washington defense then kicked into gear, forcing four turnovers over the next eight minutes and change, while the Bear offense sputtered, shooting 2-15 to finish the game.
Washington’s length, all starters are at least 6′ 6″, and zone defense gave the Bears trouble all game, as Baylor shot 42% prior to the Huskie run. The Baylor offense was confused even more on the final possession of the game — down three, Washington threw a man look their way, stalling any plans the Bears may have had as guard MaCio Teague launched a desperate three shot wide of the hoop.
After nine players combined for 33 points off the bench in their last game, only two Bears were able to score off the pine today, as junior forward Mark Vital and senior guard Devonte Bandoo notched eight and nine points, respectively.
Washington’s offense also cleaned up in the second half, turning the ball over 15 times to give up 15 points in the first half, while giving up the ball five times in the second half for just two points off turnover. The Bears also gave away points on the glass, as they grabbed boards off their own misses, but only converted those offensive rebounds for one bucket all night.
The 12 offensive boards also represented a precipitous drop in OReb% from the Central Arkansas game, going from 42% Tuesday to 29% in the loss to Washington.
Guard Jared Butler led the way with 18 points on 6-9 shooting Friday, with forward Freddie Gillespie followed behind with 11 points and 11 rebounds to keep the Bears in it. Guards Teague and Davion Mitchell went cold from behind the arc, shooting 2-9 from deep.
Huskie Nahziah Carter led all scorers with 23 on 8-15 shooting as well as steals with three, while Isaiah Stewart starred down low with 15 points and three blocks to go with two important assists during their run to close it.
The Bears (1-1) will look to get back on track at 8 p.m. Friday in the Ferrell Center against Texas State. The game can also be streamed on ESPN+.