After coming off an exciting win over Kentucky, it seemed as if the Baylor basketball team didn’t return from cloud nine in time for its game against Northwestern Tuesday night.
After a late second half rally, the Bears were unable to come back from an 18-point deficit and instead finished 74-70 against the Wildcats.
“Well, as disappointed as I was early in the game, especially early in the second half, I thought we did a lot of good things to get back in the game,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “Unfortunately, at the beginning of the game, I thought we had chances to get a little separation and get a little cushion, but we weren’t able to do that.”
Things didn’t look so bad for Baylor at the end of the first half; they were only down by three points. However, things went down hill quickly when the Wildcats went on an 11-1 run to open the second half. After a three-pointer by Northwestern’s Dave Sobolewski, the Wildcats took the 54-36 lead with 11 minutes remaining.
“We didn’t play with the same intensity that we finished the game with,” Baylor guard A.J. Walton said. “We need to play the whole 40 minutes like we played the final 10 minutes. We let them get on a run and we can’t do that against the good teams.”
Baylor had rallied back to knock the Wildcat lead down to 11 points with 3:10 left on the clock when Northwestern’s Alex Olah was sent to the line and made both of his free throws. However, just a minute later, Olah missed two shots, starting the Wildcats’ stretch of six consecutive misses and continuing Baylor’s comeback.
“When you miss foul shots, it gives them hope and the adrenaline is going and there is hope that they can win this game,” Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said. “We hadn’t been shooting fouls well at all, but we hung on.”
With only 23 seconds left on the clock, Baylor was only down 70-67 after Baylor guard Pierre Jackson made two free throws. But that and Isaiah Austin’s three-pointer before the buzzer weren’t enough to counter the Northwestern offense, handing Baylor it’s third loss of the season.
On Northwestern’s dominant offense, Drew Crawford led the team in scoring with 19 points. Four other Wildcats also scored in double digits.
Jackson had 18 points for the Bears tonight while A.J. Walton scored 11.
The loss marks Baylor’s second consecutive home loss but snapped a two-game losing streak for Northwestern.
“They outworked us,” Jackson said. “They wanted it more than we did. That’s about all that needs to be said.” -- Savannah Pullin