WACO, Texas (AP) — Northwestern State had to wait for one of its players to finish an exam Wednesday before getting on the bus and going to Baylor.
The Demons then went into overtime before having to play another game — in another city — on Thursday.
Jalan West scored 26 points for the Demons, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in regulation. But Kenny Chery scored 12 of his 20 points in overtime after missing a layup at the end of regulation as the 12th-ranked Bears returned from an extended break with a 91-84 victory Wednesday night.
"I'm proud of both teams, playing a difficult situation," Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy said. "For both teams to play hard and stay within what coaches are trying to get them to do, that says a lot."
Baylor (9-1) was playing for the first time in 12 days after final exams. The Bears had last played Dec. 6, beating then-No. 3 Kentucky 67-62 at the Dallas Cowboys' massive stadium where the NCAA Final Four will be played in April.
Northwestern State (4-6), an NCAA tournament team last season, is playing two games in two nights at different cities for the second time this season. The Demons play at UTEP on Thursday night.
After Chery was wondering how he missed that layup with 2 seconds left in regulation — "That's a layup I usually make," the point guard said — he had a steal in the first minute of overtime after Sabri Thompson lost control of the ball. Chery picked it up and drove to make a tough short jumper while being fouled. He shouted out while still sitting on the court after the ball went through the hoop to put the Bears ahead to stay. He added the free throw.
There was an assist for Chery on Gary Franklin's 3-pointer in the extra period. After Brison White's jumper got Northwestern State within 82-80 with 2 minutes left, Chery drove for a layup and then made a 3-pointer after a shot-clock violation by the Demons.
"He'll probably be mad about that shot he didn't make to win it at the end of regulation," Baylor coach Scott Drew said of Chery, correctly predicting the junior college transfer who is now his starting point guard.