Baylor survives; Old Dominion next
NEW ORLEANS -- Who knows if Ekpe Udoh will leave Baylor after one season, but for now the Baylor Bears will be content to ride his long arms and sweet jumper.
Udoh had 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots as he led a shaky Baylor squad, the No. 3 seed in the South Region, to a landmark, 68-59 victory over pesky No. 14 Sam Houston State. It's the first NCAA tourney win for the Bears since 1950 and it advances them into Saturday's second round against No. 11 Old Dominion, upset winners over No. 6 Notre Dame earlier in the day.
Baylor also secured their 26th victory on the season, a new school record.
The Bearkats had the game tied at 55-55 with 3:20 to play, but Baylor produced its best run of the game when it needed it the most. Two Baylor steals set up a LaceDarius Dunn layup and then a dunk, as he put a bad game behind him. Quincy Acy, who missed a dunk earlier in the game, threw one down and made one of the steals in the backcourt to set up Dunn.
Late free throws extended the lead.
Sam Houston State led 31-30 at halftime despite missing 14-of-16 attempts from the 3-point arc. Forward Gilberto Clavell singlehandedly kept the Bearkats close with 23 points.
The Bears got key contributions for Anthony Jones and Acy, both of whom scored 10 points, helping to fill the scoring void of off-games by Dunn (13 points) and senior Tweety Carter (two points).
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