Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin recorded his second career double-double tonight as he led the Bears to an 85-68 victory over Lamar while the team still searches for consistency.
After a pretty even matchup for most of the night, the Bears were finally able to use some good defense and strong play to pull away from Lamar in the last minutes of the game.
“I want to say depth was a big part of it,” Baylor guard Pierre Jackson said about the push through towards the end of the game. “We were also a lot more focused at the end of the game and that helped a lot.”
Austin recorded 27 points and 17 rebounds, marking only the fourth time in program history that a Baylor player has had at least 23 points and 17 rebounds in a game.
“Coach Drew has definitely been emphasizing rebounding in practice,” Austin said. “He wants me to have 10-plus rebounds a game, so I just wanted to be more active on the boadrs for the team.”
Baylor was able to climb to a 16-point lead in the first half, but the Cardinals, who suffered a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette just last night, quickly erased the lead and tied the game when they opened the second half with an 11-4 run as the scoreboard read 38-31.
“I think we weren’t talking enough on defense and I let the guys know it during the timeout,” Jackson said. “We weren’t communicating enough. We let a couple players get behind the zone and hit some wide open jumpers, and that’s what they were doing so we had to tighten that up.”
Although Lamar was able to keep up with Baylor, the Bears pulled away in the end and with a 58-55 lead, went on a 13-2 scoring run that Lamar could not match.
“I was worried because you would like a day of preparation, but I have got to look at the positive; that was the best game we have played all year and probably the best team we will play all year,” Lamar head coach Pat Knight said.
Jackson followed right behind Austin in scoring, with 21 points of his own. Jackson has now scored in double figures for 17 straight games. He is averaging 18.7 points and 6.3 assists per game during that streak. Cory Jefferson had eight rebounds on the night – the most following Austin.
Baylor has three more non-conference games before it opens conference play against Texas on Jan. 5, and while the Bears still search for consistency before then, even the small games (such as these) can help build the team’s confidence back. -- Savannah Pullin