Texas Southern pulls off upset of Bears in season-opener

Baylor guard Darius Allen passes around a Texas Southern defender to Bears teammate Mark Vital. The Tigers claimed a 72-69 win over Baylor.Lauryn Amy photo


WACO, Texas – Ouch.

The Baylor men’s basketball season started rough as Texas Southern pulled off a second half comeback to grasp a 72-69 victory over the Bears on Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.

Coming into the game, Baylor was 56-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC. But Texas Southern rallied from 17 behind with 14 minutes left to hand the Bears a loss in both teams’ season-opener.

Guard Jaylyn Patterson gave the Tigers their first lead since the first five minutes of the game by hitting a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key, putting Texas Southern in front 70-69 with 21 seconds left.

Patterson then hit a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining, bringing his total to a team-high 23 and pushing Texas Southern’s lead to three.

Baylor quickly moved the ball across midcourt and called timeout. But guard King McClure, who led Baylor with 23, missed a 3-pointer from the right wing and Baylor didn’t get another shot before the final buzzer.

Baylor finished the first half on a 15-7 run to take a 40-27 lead to the break. McClure, who scored 10 points during the surge, hit a 3-pointer to start it and finished with a layup with one second left before halftime.

McClure, trying to get back to for from his sophomore season when he was one of the Bears’ more dynamic scorers, led Baylor with 12 points in the first half.

Baylor took its largest lead when forward Freddie Gillespie hit a jumper with 13:57 left in the second half, putting the Bears in front 55-38.

But Texas Southern surged down the stretch, outscoring Baylor, 34-14.