College Basketball Roundup: No. 20 Baylor tops Gardner-Webb

NC Central, Davidson and Elon all suffered losses

Baylor guard RayJ Dennis attempts to shoot over Gardner-Webb guard Shahar Lazar, center, and forward Ademide Badmus during the Bears’ win Sunday in Waco, Texas. (Jerry Larson / AP Photo)

WACO, Texas — Baylor coach Scott Drew said he didn’t hear the home fans screaming for his team to shoot a 3-pointer as his team dribbled out the win.

But the fans had reason for wanting to see the Bears take one more shot despite having the game in hand.

Baylor didn’t make a 3-pointer (0-for-9) for the first time since a game against Texas Tech in 1990, ending a streak of 1,032 games with at least one, but Ja’Kobe Walter scored 14 points, Jayden Nunn added 12 and the 20th-ranked Bears ran away from Gardner-Webb 77-62 on Sunday.

“I try not to listen to what the crowd says,” Drew said. “Too many times on the road you don’t want to hear what people are saying, so you kind of just get used to tuning it out.”

In a game that featured 16 lead changes over the first 27 minutes, Baylor (3-0) finally took charge in the second half with a 12-2 run that lasted nearly five minutes. That spurt was highlighted by a RayJ Dennis coast-to-coast layup off an Yves Missi block that gave Baylor a 50-48 lead with 13:07 remaining, and the Bears never trailed again.

“That big block, and then RayJ probably felt the energy and he got the layup,” Walter said. “The whole gym was rocking, we’re rocking, the bench is rocking. Yves has a lot of outstanding plays, and we just appreciate him.”

Gardner-Webb (1-2) didn’t fare much better from beyond the arc, hitting only two of its 17 tries.

“We needed to bury a couple big 3s, and we had some opportunities,” Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said. “Their size wore us down. They really beat us up on the glass in the second half, and I’m sure that was an emphasis for them.”

Missi, a 7-foot freshman making his first career start, dominated the paint defensively by blocking five shots. He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Dennis finished with nine points, ending a 51-game streak of scoring in double figures.

Julien Soumaoro led the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 16 points and DQ Nicholas had 10.

Gardner-Webb will play three games in as many days in the Atlantic Slam tournament beginning Friday against Weber State.

Georgia 64, North Carolina Central 54

ATHENS, Ga. — Jabri Abdur-Rahim scored 13 points and hit 10 of 11 from the free throw line and Georgia pulled away to beat North Carolina Central, 64-54 on Sunday.

Georgia won its second straight game after opening the season with an 82-71 loss to Oregon.

Emmanuel Izunabor hit the second of two free throws with 5:21 left to get the Eagles within six points, 53-47. but Abdur-Rahim knocked down six straight free throws and Justin Hill added a layup and a 3-pointer in an 11-2 run that put Georgia on top by 15, 64-49.

Hill scored 11 points for Georgia and Silas Demary Jr. added 10 points and four steals.

The Bulldogs shot just 35.8% from the floor.

Izunabor’s 12 points and eight rebounds both were team highs for NC Central (1-2). Po’Boigh King and Fred Cleveland Jr. each added 11 points.

NC Central, which lost its opener to No. 1 Kansas, plays host to Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday.

Clemson 68, Davidson 65

ASHEVILLE — PJ Hall hit a pair of clutch free throws and Clemson held off a late Davidson rally to claim the Asheville Championship, 68-65 on Sunday afternoon.

Joseph Girard III hit from deep with 2:38 left to put Clemson in front, 64-56, but Davidson answered with four free throws from Reed Bailey and a David Skogman 3 to get within one, 64-63. Chase Hunter scored at the basket with 1:05 to push the Tigers lead back to three points, but Angelo Brizzi’s layup got the Wildcats back within a point. Hall drew a foul from Skogman with 21 seconds left and hit both free throws. Davidson had 3-point attempts from Skogman, Brizzi and Bobby Durkin miss in the final 12 seconds.

Davidson got off to a fast start and held a 28-23 lead at the break. Grant Huffman and Connor Kochera each scored at the basket to start the second half to push the lead to nine, 32-23. Alex Hemenway’s 3 got Clemson the lead, 38-36, and the Tigers pushed it to as many as seven on a Chase Hunter jumper with 12:28 left.

Hall and Girard each scored 17 points to lead Clemson (3-0). Girard hit 5 of 12 from 3-point range and dished five assists. RJ Godfrey added 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Huffman finished with 12 points and was the lone Davidson scorer to reach double figures. The Wildcats had eight players with six points or more while hitting 22 of 56 from the field (39.3%).

Davidson travels to face East Tennessee State on Friday.

North Dakota 85, Elon 68

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Treysen Eaglestaff had 26 points in North Dakota’s 85-68 win over Elon on Sunday.

Eaglestaff shot 9 for 17 (5 for 12 from 3-point range) for the Fightin’ Hawks (1-1). B.J. Omot scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds. Tsotne Tsartsidze had 16.

Max Mackinnon led the way for the Phoenix (1-2) with 17 points. TK Simpkins added 10 points for Elon. In addition, Rob Higgins had nine points.

Elon plays IUPUI on Friday.