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Baylor struggles, rallies to beat SC Upstate 73-57

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm •  Published: December 17, 2012
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WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor struggled in the first half, took an early lead in the second and rallied to beat South Carolina Upstate 73-57 on Monday night.

Cory Jefferson led Baylor (7-3) with 17 points. Pierre Jackson scored 15, A.J. Walton had 10 points and Isaiah Austin had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

It was the second consecutive double-double for Austin, who recorded 23 points and 17 rebounds in Baylor's win over Lamar on Dec. 12, a performance that earned him Big 12 Conference rookie of the week honors.

USC Upstate (4-6) was led by Ricardo Glenn with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Torrey Craig had 14 points and Adrian Rogers scored 10.

This was the first-ever meeting of the two teams.

Austin, a 7-1 freshman, tied the game at 16 when he grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled between his legs and took off on a full-court drive that ended with an uncontested layup with 7:07 left in the first half. After an Upstate turnover, Baylor took its first lead of the game as Austin fed Walton for a layup with 6:37 remaining.

Up to that point, it had been Walton on the front end of assists. The senior guard made passes that led to four of Baylor's first five baskets and finished the game with eight assists.

Baylor led 29-27 after a first half that saw 10 ties and a largest lead of 4. Upstate went up 12-8 on a layup by Jodd Maxey with 11:55 remaining. With 1:03 to play, Jefferson tied the game 27-27 on a layup on which he was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Pierre Jackson grabbed the rebound and dished inside to Jefferson, who dunked from the right side with 1:01 left.

Jackson led a Baylor rally early in the second half. He hit a pair of 3s, had a steal and fed Jefferson for a dunk. The run gave Baylor a 37-30 lead with 17:43 left in the game.

Upstate then went on a 12-1 run fueled by Glenn, who hit a jumper and later converted a three-point play. Craig made 4 of 5 free-throw attempts in the stretch, and Upstate was up 42-37 with 14:09 to play.

Baylor took the lead for good with 9:25 to play when Jackson rebounded his own miss and threw in a follow-up as he was fouled by Mario Blessing. Jackson made the free shot, giving Baylor a 49-46 advantage.

Later, a 20-4 Baylor run gave the Bears their biggest lead of the game, 71-54, with a minute left. Walton scored six and dished out one more assist during the sequence before fouling out with 1:34 to play.


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