LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Baylor led Dayton for a little more than 16 seconds in the second half Tuesday night. They were the right 16 seconds.
Cory Jefferson had a go-ahead putback in the waning moments and the 18th-ranked Bears rallied for a 67-66 victory in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational.
"We led 1-zip and we finished leading by one," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Everything else was chasing Dayton."
The Bears will play No. 8 Syracuse for the tournament championship Wednesday night.
After trailing nearly the entire game, Baylor (6-0) whittled away a 10-point deficit over the final 7 minutes. The Bears were down by one when Kenny Chery missed a jumper off the front of the rim, but Jefferson was all alone for the rebound and his layup gave Baylor a 67-66 lead with 16 seconds to go.
Vee Sanford missed a contested shot in close for Dayton with 2 seconds left, Devin Oliver's tip-in attempt bounced off the rim and Baylor grabbed the rebound as the final buzzer sounded.
"I don't know how I missed it," Oliver said.
Royce O'Neale and Chery had 13 points each for the Bears. Jefferson, Gary Franklin and Isaiah Austin added 10 apiece.
"We just wanted to be tough. Our mental toughness was in question as a team, so we just wanted to stay together, be tough and try to pull one out and that's what we did," Chery said.
Jordan Sibert led Dayton (5-1) with 20 points and Oliver had 14.
Baylor trailed by 14 with less than 5 minutes left in the first half before going on a nine-point run to cut it to 33-28 at halftime.