|No. 18 Baylor rested for winless Maryland-Eastern Shore|
No. 18 Baylor hopes to still have momentum from beating Villanova in the title game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational when the Bears host winless Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday night in Waco, Texas.
At tip-off, it will be nine days since the Bears (5-1) posted that 87-78 win over the Wildcats on Nov. 24.
Baylor sophomore guard Jared Butler was named the tournament MVP after making back-to-back 3-pointers with less than six minutes left to give the Bears the lead for good. He scored 10 of his 22 points in the final six minutes.
"The last five minutes of the game are the most important, so I locked-in and said, 'I really want to win this game,'" said Butler, who was 4-of-8 from 3-point range, adding three assists, two steals and a block.
The Bears have ripped off five consecutive victories after giving up a double-digit second-half lead in a 67-64 loss to Washington on Nov. 8 in Anchorage, Alaska. That learning experience had something to do with being able to close out the Villanova game, as Baylor forced three turnovers and held the Wildcats without a field goal for the last 2:30.
"No one likes to lose, but I think the Washington game really helped us win this game," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
"I thought down the stretch, we really made a lot of good plays, a lot of smart plays. We executed; we were disciplined. Anytime you beat a two-time national champ in Villanova, you have to beat them, they're not going to beat themselves."
Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-9) has been routed by Oklahoma (91-64), Stanford (76-55) and Penn State (84-46), among others.
Maryland-Eastern Shore sophomore reserve forward Walter Prevost, who will be playing close to his Houston home, led his cold-shooting team with nine points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field in the Hawks' 66-45 loss at Fordham on Sunday.
They shot 32.1 percent from the field, including 23.1 percent from 3-point range. After Sunday's game, the Hawks ranked No. 343 nationally out of 350 teams in shooting percentage (36.3) and No. 303 in 3-point shooting (28.8 percent).
"We've played some high-major opponents already, so we know all about facing a tough task," Maryland-Eastern Shore coach Jason Crafton said. "We just have to calm down and settle in to playing the best we possibly can."
The highest scorer for the Hawks -- freshman guard Da'Shawn Phillip -- averages only 7.4 points a game. Senior forward AJ Cheeseman leads the team with 4.4 rebounds a game.
Baylor is known for its stifling defense under Drew, but these Bears also are shooting 40.6 percent from 3-point range. Butler is averaging a team-best 19.3 points per game, followed by MaCio Teague at 15.7. Freddie Gillespie leads the Bears with 7.8 rebounds per game.
Auburn transfer point guard Davion Mitchell is in his first season of eligibility with Baylor, and the former four-star recruit has been an impact player through six starts. He is averaging 9.2 points and 3.2 assists, with nine total turnovers.
--Field Level Media