Bears fall to the Badgers 69-52

The Baylor Bears season is over as they fall to the Wisconsin Badgers 69-52.

It was a very strange 5 day stretch for the Baylor Bears. In one 40 minute stretch they played about as perfect of a game of basketball that one could hope for against a higher ranked team. 5-days later, and a few time zones to the West, it didn't work out so well for Scott Drew and his Bears. A defense that had chewed up two Midwest teams in double digit victories was itself torn apart by a third team from the Midwest.

The Wisconsin Badgers were simply a different animal, playing at a level the Bears could not match. With exquisite passing, and a much more potent paint attack, the Badgers tore up the Bears zone, shootinv 52% for the game. Junior center Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 19 points on an incredibly efficient 11 shots. The Badgers had three players in double figures, but while the game was going in, it seemed like every Badger was open when they wanted to be.

The bigger different though might have been on the defensive side of the court for Wisconsin, where Kaminsky took the low post away with 6 blocks and countless challenges. The Bears struggled to make shots in the paint all game. The Badgers also out-rebounded the Bears 39-33, mostly because of the high amount of bricks that Baylor was throwing up.

Trailing 29-16 at halftime, the Bears offense had just as many turnovers as it did field goals made; 5. The Bears were shooting 5-25 from the field, including 1-6 from behind the arc. Only senior post Cory Jefferson had more than a single field goal to his credit. The Bears were out of sorts, but only down 13 points with 20 minutes to go.

But the second half proved to be more of the same. With the Bears back in their zone defense after switching to their man look late in the 2nd half, the Badgers got excellent looks on their first 4 trips down the court, and stormed out of half-time on a 8-2 run.

The lead would balloon up to 21 points several times, but the Badgers kept the pressure on in the second half, never allowing the Bears to get it within 15 points again. In the end, the Bears would fall in the Sweet 16 round for the first time, thus failing to make it to the Elite Eight for the third time in five years.

The Bears were led in scoring by Cory Jefferson who had 15 points. Isaiah Austin, possibly playing in his last game at Baylor as well, chipped in 12 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Kenny Chery also chipped in 12 points for the Bears. Outside of those three, the Bears scored just 13 points on 5-24 shooting.

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