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No. 1 Baylor gets scare before taking down Oregon

Sportsnaut
Dec 18, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks guard De'Vion Harmon (5) controls the ball as Baylor Bears guard LJ Cryer (4) defends during the first half at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks guard De’Vion Harmon (5) controls the ball as Baylor Bears guard LJ Cryer (4) defends during the first half at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Kendall Brown scored 17 points — 15 in the second half — as No. 1 Baylor ground out a 78-70 victory over host Oregon in Eugene on Saturday to remain undefeated.

Oregon went toe-to-toe with the Bears for the first 31 minutes of the game, forging a 10-point lead in the first half and going to the half up four points. But with the game tied at 51, Baylor sprinted away with 10 consecutive points — with seven of those by Brown — and the Bears were never seriously threatened again.

Baylor (10-0) extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 games and won its 34th straight contest against nonconference teams.

Adam Flagler added 16 points (15 in the first half) for the Bears, with James Akinjo hitting for 17 and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua scoring 10 and taking a game-high nine rebounds. Baylor won despite going just 8 of 18 from the free-throw line.

De’Vion Harmon led the Ducks (6-6) with 18 points while Will Richardson scored 16 and Jacob Young tallied 11 for Oregon, which has lost three of its past four games.

The Ducks owned the game’s opening nine and half minutes, forging a 25-16 lead after a 3-pointer by Harmon at the 10:31 mark of the first half. Baylor slowly climbed back in the game, pulling to within five on a 3-pointer by Adam Flagler three minutes later, and to within two points on a layup by Tchamwa Tchatchoua with 1:54 remaining in the half.

Richardson canned two free throws with 45 seconds to play before halftime to grant Oregon a 39-35 advantage at the break. It was the first halftime deficit for Baylor since last season’s Sweet 16 and the 39 points for Oregon was more than Baylor allowed in the entire game in its win last week against No. 6 Villanova.

Flagler led all scorers with 15 points at halftime, with Harmon pacing the Ducks with 13 points. Oregon outshot the Bears 58.3 percent to 50 percent in the half and outrebounded Baylor 15-11.

–Field Level Media