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Top 25 roundup: No. 2 Baylor takes down No. 6 Villanova

Sportsnaut
Dec 12, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA;  Baylor Bears guard James Akinjo (11) scores between Villanova Wildcats guards Justin Moore (5) and Caleb Daniels (14) during the second half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard James Akinjo (11) scores between Villanova Wildcats guards Justin Moore (5) and Caleb Daniels (14) during the second half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

James Akinjo scored 16 points and the Baylor defense was stifling throughout the game as the second-ranked Bears steamrolled No. 6 Villanova 57-36 on Sunday afternoon in a Big East-Big 12 Battle slugfest in Waco, Texas.

The Bears (9-0) took the game right to Villanova from the jump, never trailing and limiting a very good opponent to just 22.2 percent shooting. Baylor won easily despite shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor.

Adam Flagler added 10 points for the Bears, with Jeremy Sochan taking a game-high 10 rebounds in the win. Justin Moore led the Wildcats (7-3) with 15 points, with 12 of those coming in the second half. No other Villanova player scored more than six points.

Baylor has now captured eight consecutive games against Top 10 teams, beating teams ranked No. 5, 9, 6, 6, 10, 6, 1 and 6 over that stretch. The win Sunday was the Bears’ 33rd straight against nonconference teams.

No. 1 Purdue 82, North Carolina State 72

Trevion Williams posted 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Boilermakers made a big comeback in regulation and defeated the Wolfpack in overtime as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Purdue (9-1), which never led until overtime, received 22 points from Jaden Ivey and 12 from Sasha Stefanovic. Williams supplied nine assists.

For NC State (7-3), Terquavion Smith scored 21 points, Dereon Seabron had 18, and Cam Hayes and Jericole Hellems added 12 apiece.

No. 16 USC 73, Long Beach State 62

The Trojans broke a halftime stalemate by scoring the first 14 points of the second half, and USC rode the lead to a win over the 49ers in Los Angeles.

Isaiah Mobley scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half for the Trojans (10-0). Mobley also recorded his second consecutive double-double and fourth in the past five games with 12 rebounds. Teammate Drew Peterson scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Joel Murray led Long Beach State (3-7) with 12 first-half points before USC locked him down in the second half. He did not score after the break until hitting a jumper with 4:55 remaining and finished with 14 points. Colin Slater picked up the slack with nine of his 12 points after halftime, helping to keep the 49ers competitive.

No. 17 Iowa State 47, Jackson State 37

Aljaz Kunc scored 12 points and Gabe Kalscheur added 11 as the host Cyclones remained undefeated and tied its best start in school history with a victory over visiting Jackson State in a nonconference game.

Kunc was 3-for-5 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range, and had five rebounds for the Cyclones, whose 10-0 start equals the mark they set during the 2013-2014 and 1996-1997 seasons. Izaiah Brockington added nine points and a team-high seven rebounds and Tyrese Hunter added six points.

Jackson State (2-7) was led by Jonas James’ 11 points, while Terence Lewis added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Maryland 70, No. 20 Florida 68

Donta Scott scored inside on an off-balance shot in traffic with 16 seconds left to give the Terps an upset of the Gators in the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Fatts Russell and Eric Ayala scored 19 points each as Maryland (6-4) delivered interim coach Danny Manning his first win since replacing 11-year head coach Mark Turgeon nine days ago.

Reeling Florida (7-3) lost for the third time in the last four games. The Gators had a chance to win in the closing seconds but Tyree Appleby’s 3-point try was off the mark. Appleby (15 points) had played a key role, hitting four 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes to keep the Gators close. Phlandrous Fleming Jr. had a double-double for Florida, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

No. 23 Seton Hall 77, Rutgers 63

Bryce Aiken scored 22 points to lead five players in double figures and the Pirates notched an impressive win over the Scarlet Knights in Newark, N.J.

Jared Rhoden had 16 points and nine boards and Kadary Richmond scored all 12 of his points in the first half. Alexis Yetna and Myles Cale added 10 apiece. The Pirates (9-1) scored their sixth straight victory, extending a streak that includes Thursday’s 64-60 home win over No. 7 Texas.

Caleb McConnell led Rutgers (5-5) with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Cliff Omoruyi also scored 13. Rutgers’ Geo Baker returned from a four-game absence as he dealt with a hamstring injury and the flu. Baker came off the bench and chipped in 11 points. Ron Harper Jr. added 10 on 3-of-12 shooting.

–Field Level Media