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Jan 13, 2024 10:46 pm

No. 14 Baylor survives visit from Cincinnati

Langston Love and Ja’Kobe Walter scored 14 points apiece as No. 14 Baylor held on to post a 62-59 victory over visiting Cincinnati in Big 12 play on Saturday night at Waco, Texas.

RayJ Dennis recorded 11 points, nine assists and two steals, and Josh Ojianwuna also scored 11 points as the Bears (14-2, 3-0 Big 12) won their fifth consecutive game.

Dan Skillings Jr. scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half for Cincinnati (12-4, 1-2). Day Day Thomas added 15 points for the Bearcats.

Cincinnati missed five shots in the final 51 seconds — including two 3-pointers inside the last five seconds — while falling short of the upset.

The Bearcats connected on 39.3 percent of their shots and made just 4 of 21 from behind the arc.

Baylor shot 45.8 percent from the field, including 5 of 20 from 3-point range.

The Bears held a game-high nine-point lead before Skillings scored seven straight points in 34 seconds. He made a trey, converted a layup and added two free throws as Cincinnati pulled within 59-57 with 2:20 left.

Walter split two free throws to give the Bears a three-point edge with 2:02 left, before Thomas hit a jumper to pull the Bearcats within one with 1:44 to play.

Thomas missed a shot with 51 seconds left when Cincinnati had a chance to take the lead.

Later in the final minute, Skillings couldn’t get his driving layup to fall with just under 17 seconds remaining, and Simas Lukosius missed a 3-pointer with 13 seconds to go.

After Walter made two free throws with 9.8 seconds left, Thomas missed a 3-pointer with just under five seconds left, and Lukosius was off the mark from long range as time expired.

Lukosius had two points on 1-of-10 shooting.

Cincinnati used a 9-2 burst early in the second half to take a 38-31 lead on a layup by Viktor Lakhin with 16:40 remaining.

Baylor rolled off the next 13 points to take a six-point advantage. Jalen Bridges made two free throws with 12:20 to play, and Ojianwuna and Yves Missi added dunks to conclude the burst and give Baylor a 44-38 lead with 10:13 left.

Cincinnati later moved within 53-50 on a 3-pointer by Skillings with 4:37 remaining. Ojianwuna and Dennis responded with baskets and Ojianwuna added two free throws to give the Bears a 59-50 lead with 3:16 left.

The contest was tied at 27 at the break. Love scored 11 points to lead the Bears in the first half.

–Field Level Media

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