The No. 3 seed Baylor Bears defeated No. 14 seed New Mexico State 91-73 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA’s East Regional.
Al Freeman was the leading scorer adding 21 points off the bench, Jo Lual-Acuil scored 16 points and Johnathan Motley added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears (26-7). The win allows them to breathe after back-to-back first-round losses to Georgia State and Yale.
Ian Baker and Braxton Huggins each scored 19 points for New Mexico State (28-6).
Huggins would hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give New Mexico State a 40-38 lead at the half. The Aggies made 6 out of 14 3-pointers before the break.
The Bears would seize control with a 14-3 run early in the second half to take a 58-47 lead. Baylor locked down holding the Aggies to 37 percent shooting in the second half. After allowing the Aggies to hang with them in the first half, Baylor showed they’re defensive prowess in the second half.
Baylor will play USC game tomorrow night in the Round of 32.