Baylor got more than it bargained for Thursday night against South Dakota State, but ultimately the Bears’ sheer amount of talent proved too much. After falling behind early, No. 3 seed Baylor escaped with a 68-60 victory over No. 14 seed South Dakota State in a South Region round-of-64 game in Albuquerque.
The Bears got 18 points from guard Pierre Jackson and 17 from guard Brady Heslip, but Baylor could never pull away from a game Jackrabbits team that held Perry Jones III to just two points — although he did have 11 rebounds.
South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters scored a game-high 19 points and dished out four assists, and Chad White chipped in 15 points off the bench. But the Jackrabbits simply didn’t have enough athletes to compete with the Bears.
After cutting Baylor’s lead to 64-60 with less than a minute remaining in the second half, South Dakota State’s Brayden Carlson missed a three-pointer that could have made things interesting in the waning moments.
Baylor finished the contest with a 31-17 advantage on the glass, including 12 offensive rebounds. The Bears will face either UNLV or Colorado in the round of 32 Saturday.
South Dakota State came out hitting on all cylinders, catching heavily favored Baylor on its heels when Wolters scored five-straight points to give the Jackrabbits a 19-7 lead less than seven minutes into the game.
But Wolters and South Dakota State couldn’t maintain that pace against the talented Bears. While the Jackrabbits made just two field goals after taking their 12-point lead, Baylor went on an 18-3 run and took control of the game for good.
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