No. 1 Baylor looks to be even better against struggling Alcorn State
No. 1 Baylor will return home with a bit of a chip on its shoulder and improvement in its sights when it hosts struggling Alcorn State on Monday night in Waco, Texas.
The Bears (10-0) were extended to their limits in their most recent outing, a 78-70 win at Oregon on Saturday in which Baylor didn't take control of the game until the final eight minutes.
Baylor's Kendall Brown scored 17 points -- 15 in the second half -- while James Akinjo had 17, Adam Flagler added 16 (15 in the first half), and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua scored 10 and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
With the score tied at 51, Baylor sprinted away with 12 consecutive points -- seven by Brown -- and the Bears were never seriously threatened again, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games and winning their 34th straight contest against nonconference teams.
"Cutting it to four points going into the half was really big, and then coming out in second half was much more like Baylor basketball," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "We know in order to win you've got to be the tougher team, and rebounding-wise, we weren't the tougher team, 50-50 balls we weren't the tougher team, and we shot a lot of threes instead of attacking the rim."
Brown was a difference-maker in the game's most crucial moments after being limited in the first half because of foul trouble.
"My teammates just look for me -- you know, those are big energy plays," Brown said about the key swing. "So, whenever they look for me, I like to capitalize on it. And you know, we all just capitalize off of each other so well. So, credit to them as well."
Baylor won despite going just 8 of 18 from the free-throw line in its first true road game of the season.
"Your first road games are always an adjustment," Drew said. "Sometimes you have intentions going into it and you think things are going to work and they don't. The great thing is the players always do a great job adjusting, and that's because we have great player leadership."
The Braves head to Waco after an 83-62 loss at Tulsa on Thursday that dropped Alcorn State to 1-9 for the season. Paul King led the Braves with a season-high 21 points in the loss, with Oddyst Walker adding 16 and Darrious Agnew 12.
The Braves have dropped four straight games and have not played at home this season, losing by a wide margin to the likes of Washington State (85-67), Gonzaga (84-57), Houston (77-45), and Wichita State (82-63).
The game against Baylor will be Alcorn State's third against teams that played in the Final Four last season. The Braves won't play at home on Lorman, Miss., until Jan. 15 vs. Texas Southern.
"The biggest thing is for my guys to just get the experience," Alcorn State coach Landon Bussie said. "You got an opportunity to go play against some of the best college basketball players that are out there. So we just want to focus on that, and I think they'll prepare us for our road games in the conference. It's gonna challenge our guys."
--Field Level Media
Updated December 19, 2021