No. 22 Baylor holds on 70-66 over Southern U
WACO, Texas (AP) Rico Gathers had 16 points with 11 rebounds and No. 22 Baylor held on to win its first game this season as a ranked team, 70-66 over Southern University on Monday night.
Freshman Johnathan Motley had 19 points for the Bears (10-1), who moved into the Top 25 earlier Monday. His two free throws with 42 seconds left in the first half put Baylor ahead to stay after Southern (3-10) used a 12-0 run to take the lead.
Adrian Rodgers had 26 points for the Jaguars, who scored the most points against Baylor this season.
Baylor's last field goal of the game was Motley's tip-in with 6:09 left for a 59-51 lead. But the Bears made 11 of their 12 free throws the rest of the way.
The Bears led 66-55 with 3:32 left before Rodgers hit consecutive 3-pointers. That was during a span when he scored 15 consecutive points for Southern, the last on a jumper with 29 seconds left to get his team within 68-63.
In the first half, Baylor had a 30-19 lead when Gathers had a layup with 4:23 left.
Trelun Banks then made back-to-back 3-pointers to spark Southern's big run, and a layup by Tre Lynch put the Jaguars up 31-30 with a minute left in the first half.
Banks had 13 points and Lynch had 11.
Kenny Chery added 11 points and seven assists for Baylor.
Baylor: The Bears marked their eighth consecutive season making an appearance in the Top 25 on Monday. The only other Big 12 team to do that is No. 10 Kansas. ... Baylor is 47-0 against SWAC teams, including a 7-0 mark against Southern.
Southern: The Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second half, 411-395.
Baylor hosts Norfolk State on Dec. 30.
Southern plays at Hawaii on Dec. 29.