PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas: Matthew Mayer scored 15 factors to assist sixth-ranked Baylor maintain off VCU 69-61 in Thursday’s semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Freshman Kendall Brown added 14 factors for the reigning nationwide champion Bears (6-0), who needed to clear up a mistake-filled first half and preserve the Rams at arm’s distance all through the second half.
Baylor led 29-27 and got here out of the break with 9 straight factors. That included a five-point possession with Brown making two free throws after being hit on a flagrant foul by Levi Stockard III, then Mayer discovering Flo Thamba with a lane-to-lane move for a rating and a three-point play.
Baylor protected that margin, although the Bears struggled to place the sport away because the Rams continued to make use of full-court protection to maintain Baylor out of rhythm.
Nonetheless, Baylor’s greatest enhance got here from chopping down its turnovers. The Bears dedicated 13 within the first half surpassing their full-game totals in 4 earlier video games this season however had simply 5 after the break.
Vince Williams scored 17 factors to steer VCU (3-3), whereas Stockard had 13 factors. The Rams shot 48% after halftime to hold round, incessantly inside two possessions, however they couldn’t fairly overtake Baylor.
Baylor: The Bears are again on the match for the primary time since successful it in 2016. They opened with a 75-63 win in opposition to Arizona State for his or her second win in per week in opposition to Pac-12 opponents. They have been examined on this one, needing free throws from James Akinjo with 14.3 seconds left to maintain this one of their grip. It marked Baylors twelfth straight win relationship to final years title run within the Indianapolis bubble.
VCU: The Rams took down a power-conference opponent within the first spherical, holding Syracuse to 29% capturing and forcing 16 turnovers within the 67-55 win. VCU managed to create complications for Baylor, too, significantly within the first half. However the Rams couldn’t fairly catch the Bears, getting the second-half margin to 4 factors thrice and three factors as soon as (45-42 close to the 11-minute mark) however no nearer in a sample that held all the best way into the ultimate minute.
Baylor: Performs Michigan State in Friday’s title recreation.
VCU: Faces No. 22 UConn in Friday’s third-place recreation.
Extra AP faculty basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Comply with Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap