McNeese battles tough at No. 7 Baylor before falling

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WACO, Texas – McNeese battled the No. 7 team in the country Baylor close for more than 25 minutes before the Bears opened up a 10-point lead with 14:31 to play in the second half on a 12-0 run and pulled away for an 89-60 win over the Cowboys on Wednesday afternoon.

Jonathan Massie and Zach Scott each scored 12 to lead McNeese (2-4) while Christian Shumate pulled down 10 rebounds and just missed out on a double-double with nine points. Donovan Oday also scored 9 in 11 minutes of play.

Baylor (5-1) had four players score in double-figures, led by Keyonte George with 17.

McNeese trailed 39-30 at the half but held several leads in the first 20 minutes.

After falling behind 10-2 early, the Cowboys rolled off 12 straight points behind four straight 3s from Massie and Scott who alternated the treys. Scott’s second in the run put the Cowboys up 14-12 with just under 14 minutes to play in the half.

Following a two-pointer by Baylor’s Adam Flagler, McNeese’s Ty McMillan hit a jumper to give the Cowboys a 16-12 advantage at the 11:52 mark. Baylor then scored 7 straight points to go up 19-16 but a Harwin Francois 3 tied it at 19-19 with 9:14 to go.

Baylor took advantage of turnovers and offensive rebounding to go on a 9-0 run to break the tie but McNeese battled back when Scott’s third trey of the half followed by a McMillan duce pulled the Cowboys to within two points at 30-28 at the 4:55 mark. Baylor went on a 9-2 run to end the half.

McNeese shot 38 percent for the game (20-52) but was much better from three-point range, hitting 9 of 21 for 43 percent. The Bears connected on 57 percent for the game (34-60) and was 12 for 30 from long range for 40 percent.

The Cowboys turned the ball over 21 times which led to 29 Baylor points and the Bears scored 12 second chance points off 10 offensive boards.

McNeese only trailed by one in the rebounding department, 33-32, and pulled down 13 offensive boards, scoring six second chance points.

The Cowboys will return to action next Monday at UT Martin then will visit nationally ranked Tennessee on Wednesday.

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