How would Baylor handle stepping up in class entering the Hall of Fame Classic?
Turns out, the Bears can play to the level of competition, no matter the opponent.
The Bears brought a 3-0 record and No. 25 ranking into its semifinal game against Wisconsin on Monday, but built the credentials with victories over Central Arkansas, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Alcorn State.
But Baylor ready for the competition, beating the Badgers 70-65 and advancing to the Hall of Fame Classic title game against Creighton at the Sprint Center.
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Wisconsin will meet UCLA in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m.
Baylor never trailed and was in control of the contest through the middle of the second half, leading 53-34.
But Wisconsin staged a furious rally, and when Ethan Happ scored with 2:20 remaining the Bears’ lead was down to 57-55.
Baylor guard Manu Lecomte was fouled while shooting a three-pointer and made all three shots. That started a run of 11 straight free throws as the Bears kept their distance.
Lecomte finished with 24 points. Early on, big man Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. was the force. He had 16 of his 19 points and eight of his 10 rebounds in the first half.