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BAYLOR

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McClure helps No. 22 Baylor rally past Creighton, 65-59

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Baylor coach Scott Drew's teams had played for two championships inside Sprint Center, where the Big 12 Tournament is contested most years, and both times they came away empty.

The Bears fared better in their tournament title game Tuesday night.

King McClure scored 19 points, Terry Maston made a series of big baskets down the stretch and No. 22 Baylor rallied to beat Creighton 65-59 and win the Hall of Fame Classic.

''These tournament games, especially early in the year, turn into defensive battles and perseverance and really, credit Creighton and Baylor for a late-night show,'' Drew said. ''It was a great game.''

Maston finished with 15 points, and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 15 points and 15 rebounds, as the Bears (5-0) won their 11th consecutive in-season tournament game. They won the Battle 4 Atlantis last season.

Lual-Acuil was voted the tournament's most valuable player.

''Our leadership is amazing,'' McClure said. ''We were down by nine, they came out and punched us in the mouth, and our leaders called us together and said, `We're going to do this together. We're going to fight and we're going to win this.'''

They did it by slapping on Drew's trusty 2-3 zone defense, forcing the Bluejays (4-1) to resort to shooting 3-pointers over top of it. They were 5 of 30 from the game and 2 for 18 in the final 20 minutes, when Baylor came storming back to steal the win.

Khyri Thomas had 15 points and Marcus Foster scored 12 for Creighton, but they were a combined 10 of 31 and 3 of 19 from the arc. Martin Krampelj contributed 11 points and Ty-Shon Alexander had 10.

''They made it a rock fight, and for 36 or 37 minutes we won the rock fight. We just couldn't finish it,'' Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. ''Over the course of the season you're going to play great a third of the time, OK a third of the time and you're going to have nights where things aren't clicking.''

The contrast in styles was about as stark as the contrast in jerseys.

The white-clad Bluejays, who had twice hit the 100-point mark in four games, tried to push the tempo whenever possible. The idea was to turn defensive rebounds into fast-break points, and that would take prevent the Bears from setting up their zone.

The Bears, in their highlighter yellow, tried to keep the pace under control.

It was Creighton that asserted itself in the first half, getting easy layups off misses and taking a 33-24 lead into the break. But it was the Bears who successfully muddied it up in the second, during one stretch forcing the Bluejays into nine consecutive missed shots.

''That's one of our identities,'' Lual-Acuil said. ''We always try to string together stops.''

It took about 7 minutes, but Baylor slowly whittled a 40-28 deficit to 43-40 with 9:30 to go.

The Bears kept plodding along, finally drawing even when McClure converted a three-point play just before the final media timeout. His next basket gave Baylor its first lead since the opening minutes, and the Bluejays were never able to go ahead again.

''We've been in Sprint Center before and been in championship games before and they didn't turn out how we wanted,'' Drew said. ''I thought defensively to hold Creighton in the second half, they're so potent on the offensive end. We were blessed that they missed some shots they normally make.''

ID CHECK

Tight end Travis Kelce and defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches were among several Chiefs players with courtside seats. But the public-address announcer must not be much of a fan; he mistakenly called Nunez-Roches star linebacker Justin Houston. Nunez-Roches responded with a hearty laugh.

THE TAKEAWAY

Baylor beat Wisconsin in the semifinals despite a sluggish finish, then topped the Bluejays after a sluggish start. Just imagine if they are able to put together a complete game.

Creighton looked lost against Baylor's zone defense, virtually unable to score whenever it became a half-court game. The Bluejays are dynamic when the game is fast but Baylor exposed some flaws.

UP NEXT

Baylor visits No. 15 Xavier next Tuesday night with No. 6 Wichita State on deck four days later.

Creighton plays SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday before visiting No. 17 Gonzaga next week.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Baylor 1.0
  Mitch Ballock missed 3-pt. jump shot 3.0
  Lost ball turnover on Nuni Omot, stolen by Mitch Ballock 3.0
+ 3 Mitch Ballock made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Marcus Foster 9.0
+ 1 Manu Lecomte made 2nd of 2 free throws 13.0
+ 1 Manu Lecomte made 1st of 2 free throws 13.0
  Personal foul on Ty-Shon Alexander 13.0
+ 2 Ty-Shon Alexander made layup 16.0
+ 1 Nuni Omot made 2nd of 2 free throws 20.0
+ 1 Nuni Omot made 1st of 2 free throws 20.0
  Personal foul on Ty-Shon Alexander 20.0
Team Stats
Points 59 65
Field Goals 22-64 (34.4%) 24-52 (46.2%)
3-Pointers 5-30 (16.7%) 5-16 (31.3%)
Free Throws 10-13 (76.9%) 12-14 (85.7%)
Total Rebounds 34 38
Offensive 10 6
Defensive 18 29
Team 6 3
Assists 15 9
Steals 7 4
Blocks 3 1
Turnovers 9 15
Fouls 15 15
Technicals 0 0
15 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
19 PTS, 2 REB
12T
away team logo Creighton 4-1 332659
home team logo 22 Baylor 5-0 244165
Team Stats
away team logo Creighton 4-1 84.9 PPG 38.7 RPG 18.1 APG
home team logo 22 Baylor 5-0 75.8 PPG 42 RPG 14.9 APG
Key Players
2
K. Thomas G 14.9 PPG 3.9 RPG 2.7 APG 53.1 FG%
22
K. McClure G 8.4 PPG 2.3 RPG 1.6 APG 39.2 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Thomas G 15 PTS 5 REB 1 AST
K. McClure G 19 PTS 2 REB 0 AST
34.4 FG% 46.2
16.7 3PT FG% 31.3
76.9 FT% 85.7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Thomas 39 15 5 1 1 1 1 0 5/14 2/10 3/3 2 3
M. Foster 36 12 5 4 3 0 3 0 5/17 1/9 1/2 1 4
M. Krampelj 33 11 6 2 1 0 2 4 5/8 0/0 1/1 4 2
R. Harrell Jr. 29 6 5 2 1 1 1 2 2/8 0/0 2/3 2 3
D. Mintz 15 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0/4 0/2 0/0 0 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Thomas 39 15 5 1 1 1 1 0 5/14 2/10 3/3 2 3
M. Foster 36 12 5 4 3 0 3 0 5/17 1/9 1/2 1 4
M. Krampelj 33 11 6 2 1 0 2 4 5/8 0/0 1/1 4 2
R. Harrell Jr. 29 6 5 2 1 1 1 2 2/8 0/0 2/3 2 3
D. Mintz 15 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0/4 0/2 0/0 0 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Alexander 25 10 1 3 0 0 2 5 3/6 1/4 3/4 0 1
M. Ballock 14 5 2 0 1 1 0 1 2/6 1/5 0/0 0 2
M. Suarez 9 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 1
T. Clement - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Hegner - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Joseph - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Scurry - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Epperson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 59 28 15 7 3 9 15 22/64 5/30 10/13 10 18
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. McClure 32 19 2 0 2 0 3 3 7/11 2/3 3/3 0 2
J. Lual-Acuil Jr. 35 15 15 1 0 1 4 3 7/14 0/2 1/1 3 12
M. Lecomte 37 9 4 2 0 0 3 1 2/8 1/6 4/4 0 4
N. Omot 26 5 4 2 1 0 2 1 1/3 1/2 2/2 0 4
T. Clark 15 2 1 2 1 0 2 3 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. McClure 32 19 2 0 2 0 3 3 7/11 2/3 3/3 0 2
J. Lual-Acuil Jr. 35 15 15 1 0 1 4 3 7/14 0/2 1/1 3 12
M. Lecomte 37 9 4 2 0 0 3 1 2/8 1/6 4/4 0 4
N. Omot 26 5 4 2 1 0 2 1 1/3 1/2 2/2 0 4
T. Clark 15 2 1 2 1 0 2 3 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Maston 29 15 8 1 0 0 0 0 6/12 1/2 2/2 3 5
J. Lindsey 12 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
M. Vital 14 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0/1 0/0 0/2 0 0
J. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Jolly - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Allen - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 65 35 9 4 1 15 15 24/52 5/16 12/14 6 29