The Baylor Bears couldn’t overcome a hot shooting performance by Alabama, as the No. 4 Bears fell to the Crimson Tide, 87-78, in the Big 12-SEC Challenge on Saturday.
Baylor (18-3, 6-2 in Big 12) saw its 36-game non-conference winning streak snapped by the Crimson Tide (13-7), who shot an impressive 59.2 percent from the floor, including 68.2 percent in the second half.
Baylor was without guard L.J. Cryer, who was out with soreness in his surgically-repaired ankle. He’s scheduled to have a CAT scan on the injury on Sunday. Without Cryer, the Bears still received solid offensive performances from Jeremy Sochan, Adam Flagler and Matthew Mayer. But given how well Alabama shot, it wasn’t enough.
Alabama broke open a tight game in the second half, starting the half on a 19-9 run to the under-12 timeout to take a 57-42 lead. Baylor cuts it to 65-60 with eight minutes left. But, from there, Alabama held the Bears at bay, thanks in part to defense, as the Crimson Tide had double-digit steals in the game.
Sochan led Baylor with 17 points, while Flagler had 16 points and Mayer had 12 points. Kendall Brown added 10 points. Five different Alabama players hit double figures — Jahvon Quinerly (20), JD Davison (14), Jaden Shackelford (19), Juwan Gary (15) and Keon Ellis (11).
Also in the Big 12-SEC Challenge’s 3 p.m. games:
Kansas State got a double-double from Mark Smith — 20 points and 16 rebounds — and another 18 points from Nijel Pack — but the Wildcats were unable to overcome Ole Miss, 67-56. Kansas State shot just 30 percent from the floor. Pack ended up with six 3-pointers in the contest. Daeshun Ruffin led Ole Miss with 17 points.
Oklahoma State received 14 points from Isaac Likekele and 12 points from Bryce Thompson as the Cowboys lost to Florida on the road, 81-72. The Cowboys had a 13-point lead at the break, but the Gators rallied to win the contest, thanks in part to 21 points from Tyree Appleby. OSU shot nearly 50 percent from the floor, but it committed 16 turnovers in the contest.
Big 12-SEC Challenge Results
(Big 12 2, SEC 5 after Seven games)
Alabama 87, No. 4 Baylor 78
Ole Miss 67, Kansas State 56
Florida 81, Oklahoma State 72
No. 12 Kentucky at No. 5 Kansas, 5 p.m., ESPN
No. 18 Tennessee at Texas, 7 p.m., ESPN
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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