It was an unfortunate night for the No. 24/21 Baylor men’s basketball team. After placing third in the Charleston Classic last weekend, Baylor suffered a loss at home to the College of Charleston.
“We’re upset, but we can only be upset with ourselves,” guard Pierre Jackson said. “Prior to the game we didn’t prepare well enough as a team, we didn’t pay enough attention to the scouting report, and they executed well and capitalized on our mistakes.”
The 63-59 loss snapped the 29-game winning streak in non-conference home games Baylor had established. The Bears’ last non-conference loss at home was on Jan. 2, 2009 against South Carolina.
With the score tied 10 times and after nine lead changes, College of Charleston forward Willis Hall scored six consecutive points to break the final tie and allow his team to finish out the upset. Hall finished the night with 12 points and eight free throws.
“Coming into the game, we knew they could shoot the ball,” guard A.J. Walton said. “They’re a team that hasn’t been outrebounded. They stuck to their game plan, they executed well, and capitalized on our mistakes.”
Baylor guard Pierre Jackson recorded 21 points on the night, but his efforts were not enough to give Baylor the win. Tonight was the 14th straight game in which he scored in double figures. He is currently averaging 18.8 points and 6.5 assists per game during the streak.
One of Baylor’s key scorers, guard Brady Heslip, sat out tonight’s game after having his appendix removed on Tuesday. It was the first game Heslip had missed after starting 42 of his first 43 career games.
“You miss his shooting, but you also miss his leadership and poise down the stretch,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said about the loss of Heslip. “It was a great experience for our young guys. A lot of them have never been in that situation before.”
Baylor ended the night with a 39.3 shooting percentage from the field, compared to the College of Charleston’s 48.8 field goal percentage, making it almost impossible for the Bears to win the battle on the court.
Baylor was outscored by five points in the first half of the game, giving up 31 and only scoring 26, and could not make up the deficit in the second half. The Bears scored only one point more than the Cougars in the second half.
The Bears need to get healthy and reestablish their momentum and energy before they travel to Kentucky on Dec. 1 to take on the Wildcats in a rematch of the Elite Eight game last season when the Wildcats pushed the Bears out of the NCAA tournament. -- Savannah Pullin