The Friars (19-14) season came to an end at the hands of the Baylor Bears (21-14) on Wednesday night in Waco, Texas in the NIT quarterfinals by a score of 79-68. PC did a good job to weather the storm for most of the game, but ultimately couldn’t overcome Baylor’s length and athleticism.
The Friars came out flying, racing to a 10-4 lead early. However, Baylor roared back to take the lead for much of the half, before Bryce Cotton nailed a three at the end of the half to send both teams into the locker rooms tied 38-38. The final score doesn’t really portray how the second half played out, as PC kept the game tight up until the final minutes, with Baylor sinking their free throws down the stretch.
The Friars had three players who scored 20 or more points in the loss: Cotton (23 pts), Vincent Council (21 pts), and Kadeem Batts (20 pts). However, the problem existed in the lack of balanced scoring, as the Friars only got four points from freshman Kris Dunn in addition to Cotton, Council, and Batts, meaning only four players scored for the Friars which isn’t a good recipe for success.
For the Bears, Pierre Jackson orchestrated their offense well, scoring 20 points and dishing out 13 assists. Baylor also got a game-high 26 points from Cory Jefferson, who shot 10-for-14 from the field. The Friars did a good job at limiting the production of standout freshman center Isaiah Austin, who only scored five points and collected two rebounds.
It’s always tough to see the season come to an end, but this has to be one of the most successful years that PC basketball has seen in quite some time. Ed Cooley certainly showed that this program is heading in the right direction. It should be exciting to see the Friars on the court next season, as I, and many other Friar fans will be expecting big things.