Wednesday's college basketball: No. 2 Baylor beats Alcorn State 105-76 to stay undefeated

Associated Press

Waco, Texas — Baylor coach Scott Drew knows given a choice, his players would rather being playing games. They won two in 23 hours.

“Coming back from break, you’re either practicing or playing,” Drew said. “I know guys would rather play a game than be in practice for two or three hours.”

Baylor guard Jordan Turner (5) and Alcorn State guard Oddyst Walker (13) reach for a loose ball in the second half Wednesday in Waco, Texas.

MaCio Teague had 18 points to lead six players scoring in double figures for the Bears in a 105-76 victory Wednesday over Alcorn State, just a day after a 37-point win over Central Arkansas.

Preseason AP All-America guard Jared Butler added 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Matthew Mayer had 14 points for the Bears. Davion Mitchell, Jordan Turner and Zach Loveday each scored 10.

Baylor (8-0), the only Big 12 team without a loss, returned from its Christmas break with back-to-back midweek afternoon games. They were the last games for the preseason conference favorites before resuming Big 12 play this weekend, with the Alcorn game a late add after some earlier changes to the schedule.

“You schedule two (games) in hopes that you definitely get one in. And we were able to be blessed to play two games, and it allowed us to try some things we use in conference, and be able to do that against people besides ourselves,” Drew said. “We were able to give some guys some playing experience, and all of that stuff bodes well and helps you down the line because you never know when your number’s going to be called.”

Tyree Corbett had 24 points to lead Alcorn State (0-5), while Byron Joshua had 12 and Oddyst Walker 11.

Corbett had six early points, including back-to-back jumpers that tied it at 12 about six minutes in after Teague’s second 3-pointer.

Baylor responded with a 17-2 run in less than five minutes, going ahead 29-14 when Butler had a steal that he converted into a fastbreak layup.

“I thought Alcorn did a good job coming in and being excited to play and made some shots. Tried to hold it, and not let the game get too up and down, and credit them and their coach for a good game plan,” Drew said. “I thought our guys did a better job of … settling down and getting stops. And then once we were able to get in a rhythm and a routine, obviously we were able to pull away.”

The Bears got their next basket when Mayer had a steal and got the ball to Butler, who made an alley-oop pass to Mark Vital for a slam. Mitchell then had a steal, and after a media timeout hit a 3-pointer.

Vital later had a steal before his fastbreak dunk made it 49-24.

Alcorn State had 14 turnovers in the first half. Baylor turned those into 26 points, only one fewer than the Braves scored overall while going down 59-27 at the break. The Braves had only four turnovers after halftime, when they outscored Baylor 49-46.

More Top 25

No. 23 Virginia 66, (at) Notre Dame 57: Virginia’s momentary shakiness against surging Notre Dame reminded Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett of a toy from the 1970s.

“Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down,” Bennett said after the No. 23 Cavaliers relinquished almost all of an 11-point second-half lead, then pulled away late for a 66-57 victory over the Fighting Irish on Wednesday night.

Notre Dame's Prentiss Hubb (3) is defended by Virginia's Kihei Clark (0) and Sam Hauser during the second half.

“Our young guys don’t know what that is,” Bennett said of the old-time toy, “but we wobbled a couple times, but we didn’t fall down.”

Kihei Clark had 19 points and five assists as No. 23 Virginia continued its string of dominance over Notre Dame.

The Cavaliers (5-2, 1-0) improved to 12-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference openers under Bennett and 10-0 in ACC regular-season matchups against the Irish.

Jay Huff scored 15 points for Virginia. Sam Hauser added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame (3-5, 0-2) fell despite a career-high 28 points from Nate Laszewski. The junior forward hit 8 of 11 shots from the field with four 3-pointers to go with 8 of 10 at the line.

Juwan Durham added 19 points for the Irish.

“Durham and Laszewski hurt us,” Bennett said. “We’ve got to kind of shore up against some of these good fours and fives (positionally).”

“Our two big guys did play great,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “We’ve got to build on that even though we didn’t win the game.”

The Cavaliers led at every count except 2-2 and were up 35-24 by early in the second half, but the Irish twice clawed within one point, the last time at 47-46 with 8:26 remaining.

Notre Dame also had a chance to tie it at 54, but Cormac Ryan’s wide open 3-pointer rimmed around and softly out.

“I thought Cormac’s 3 in the corner that was halfway down was key,” Brey said after Ryan finished the night scoreless on four attempts. “We missed that one, (then) they made one (a 23-footer by Trey Murphy III), and that was kind of our last shot.”

(At)Tennessee Tech 72, Southeast Missouri 63: Jr. Clay had 22 points as Tennessee Tech snapped its season-opening nine-game losing streak, topping Southeast Missouri 72-63 on Wednesday night.

Amadou Sylla had 13 points and seven rebounds for Tennessee Tech (1-9, 1-2 Ohio Valley Conference). Damaria Franklin added 11 points and eight rebounds.

Tennessee Tech totaled 38 points in the first half, a season high for the team.

Eric Reed Jr. had 14 points for the Redhawks (2-6, 0-2), who have now lost five games in a row. Chris Harris added 11 points. DQ Nicholas had eight assists.

Big Ten

(At) No. 25 Ohio State 90, Nebraska 54: Ohio State has plenty to look forward to heading into the new year.

Justin Ahrens came off the bench to score 18 points and freshman Zed Key added 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting as the No. 25 Buckeyes used balanced scoring to beat Nebraska 90-54 on Wednesday night.

Ohio State's Justin Ahrens, left, shoots over Nebraska's Elijah Wood during the second half.

Duane Washington Jr. added 13 points, Justice Sueing 12 and Seth Towns 11 as Ohio State (8-2, 2-2 Big Ten) got points from 10 players and won for the third time in four games.

“Tonight was a unique Big Ten game; you don’t have many that are like that,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “It was a really solid performance. We were able to defend them with great purpose. Our ball movement was exceptional. That’s what we have to continue to be.

“If we were playing them again tomorrow, the game could look much different. … We played really well.”

Key to Ohio State’s success was its outside shooting. Ahrens went 6 of 9 from long range and the Buckeyes were helped by 12-for-32 shooting from beyond the arc.

“I felt really good,” Ahrens said. “My teammates did a great job of just finding me. Once I see one or two go through, I get a feeling. I feel like I gotta shoot it if I’m open.

“Once I see one or two go through, I’m going to keep shooting until I miss.”

(At) Indiana 87, Penn State 85: Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 21 points and Rob Phinisee hit a stepback jumper for the win as Indiana held off Penn State 87-85 in overtime Wednesday night.

Jackson-Davis and Phinisee (11 points) were among five Hoosiers (6-4, 1-2 Big Ten) to score in double figures as Indiana was 57% shooting for the game (32 of 56). Aljami Durham added 18 points, Armaan Franklin had 16 and Trey Galloway 10.

Penn State (3-4, 0-3) scored first in overtime on a layup off the jump ball and Myreon Jones twice gave the Nittany Lions either a one-point lead or a tie – the latter, 85-85, coming off a pair of free throws with 43 seconds left.

But as the clock was winding down, Phinisee hit his winner with 13 seconds remaining and Penn State, after a timeout, missed a shot at the buzzer.

Jones led Penn State with 20 points, making 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Sam Sessoms scored 17 points, Izaiah Brockington had 15 and Seth Lundy 10.

Sessoms had a potential game-winning 3-pointer blocked by Phinisee in the final second of regulation. Phinisee also blocked a Sessoms jump shot with 42 seconds left in regulation and Indiana clinging to a one-point lead.

Penn State hosts No. 6 Wisconsin on Sunday, Jan. 3 while Indiana hosts Maryland on Monday, Jan. 4.