George 24 as No. 17 Baylor beats Arkansas 67-64 in SEC/B12

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Baylor guard LJ Cryer (4) scores over Arkansas guard Ricky Council IV, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)


WACO, Texas (AP) — Keyonte George scored 24 points for No. 17 Baylor in a 67-64 victory over Arkansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The 16-5 Bears never trailed again after Flo Thamba made two free throws for a 55-53 lead with 3:37 left. True freshman George then scored seven points in a row. LJ Cryer added 20 points for the Bears, who shot a season-low 34% from the field. Ricky Council IV scored 25 points for 14-7 Arkansas and Davonte Davis had 16 points.

WACO, Texas (AP) — Keyonte George scored 24 points, including seven in a row down the stretch, and No. 17 Baylor beat Arkansas 67-64 on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Baylor (16-5) fell behind by as many as eight points in the second half after an early 11-point lead. But the Bears closed it out after Flo Thamba made two free throws for a 55-53 lead with 3:37 left.

Then came the strong spurt by George. The true freshman made a floater, scored on a strong move inside and then made a 3-pointer with 1:21 left for a seven-point lead.

LJ Cryer added 20 points and Jalen Bridges had 10 for the Bears, who won their sixth game in a row despite shooting a 33.9% (20 of 59) from the field. They offset the season-worst shooting from the field by making 21 of 24 free throws, including two by Cryer with 10 seconds left and two by George with 4.3 seconds remaining.

Ricky Council IV scored 25 points for Arkansas (14-7). Davonte Davis had 16 points, but missed the front end of a 1-plus-1 with 2.3 seconds left, though Joseph Pinion got the ball in the right corner only to miss wildly on a 3-pointer as time ran out.

The former Southwest Conference rivals met for the 145th time, but only the fourth since Arkansas left the old SWC for the SEC in 1991. The Bears won the previous meeting 81-72 in the NCAA Elite Eight two seasons ago on their way to the national title.

The Bears had their biggest lead at 19-8 when George made a 3-pointer with 10:36 left in the first half. They then missed 16 of their last 17 shots before halftime.

That came during a stretch when the Razorbacks made 11 of 12 shots in just over 8 minutes. Arkansas led 33-27 at halftime after an 11-0 run capped by back-to-back baskets by Davis.


Arkansas: The Razorbacks were coming off a 60-40 win over LSU, and had righted things with consecutive wins after a four-game losing streak.

Baylor: The Bears are 8-2 in SEC/Big 12 Challenge games, including 5-0 in Waco. … Baylor was coming in after shooting 37.1% from the field in its home win over Kansas on Monday night, after winning at Oklahoma last weekend while shooting 36.2%, which had been the previous season low.


Both of Razorbacks freshman guard Anthony Black’s parents were athletes at Baylor. His mother played soccer for the Bears and his father, Terry Black, averaged 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds while starting all 60 of his games over two seasons, 1999-2001. Anthony Black finished with seven points and six rebounds.


Arkansas is back in SEC play Tuesday night at home against Texas A&M.

Baylor returns to Big 12 play with its second consecutive Monday night game, this time at 10th-ranked Texas.


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