No. 6 Baylor men’s basketball blasted by Marquette, 96-70

Redshirt senior guard Adam Flagler (10) shoots over a Golden Eagle defender from the top of the key during a Big 12-Big East Battle non-conference game against Marquette University on Nov. 29, 2022 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis.

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

No. 6 Baylor men’s basketball was manhandled by Marquette University 96-70 Tuesday evening in the Big 12-Big East Battle at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. The Bears trailed early, only hoisting a lead for the first 4:21 of the game before the rout was on.

“I didn’t see that coming,” head coach Scott Drew said. “Credit the crowd. Credit them for building momentum. Credit [Marquette head coach] Shaka [Smart] for having them prepared and how hard they played. At the end of the day, we fed to the fire by turning it over and making some uncharacteristic mistakes.”

The guards led the way for the Bears (5-2), as junior LJ Cryer finished with a team-high 19 points, followed by redshirt senior Adam Flagler and freshman Keyonte George who scored 16 and 12, respectively. Marquette’s junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper (24) and sophomore guard Kam Jones (20) combined for 44 points. Baylor finished with 20 turnovers and 16 fouls on the night.

The game got out of hand quickly for the defending Big 12 champs, going down 27-11 around midway through the first half. The Bears weren’t able to get anything going on the offensive end, and their defense didn’t hold up for much longer as the Golden Eagles (6-2) took control for the majority of the game. At the half, Marquette held a 26-point lead at 51-26 which is the largest halftime deficit for the Bears since 2018.

By the halfway point, MU held a 24-0 advantage in points off turnovers and Baylor gave up a season-high 16 turnovers and finished with 20.

The second half was more of the same for Baylor, struggling to get anything going on either end of the floor. The Bears’ deficit was never lower than 22 points despite shooting 48.2% from the field overall.

Baylor rallied back from down 25 against the University of North Carolina in last year’s second round of the tournament, but these Bears never mounted any similar momentum in hopes of a comeback. The Golden Eagles never cooled off, proven by their 12 of 25 mark from downtown on Tuesday.

Next, the Bears travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., for a neutral site matchup with No. 14 Gonzaga University on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Sanford Pentagon as part of the Peacock Classic.