Pierre Jackson extended his collegiate career after pouring in 24 points and 10 assists to lead the Baylor Bears to a 76-70 win over the BYU Cougars in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
Cory Jefferson tallied 21 points for Baylor (24-12), which has averaged 89 points per game in four tournament wins thus far. Isaiah Austin registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while A.J. Walton added 10 points.
Tyler Hawes hit 7-of-7 from the foul line and paced BYU (22-14) with 25 points in the losing effort. Matt Carlino netted 19 points while Brandon Davies contributed 13 points. BYU starters were responsible for all but two of its points.
Taurean Prince's tip-in broke a tie game with four seconds remaining in the opening stanza to give Baylor a 35-33 halftime edge. BYU kept things close after outrebounding Baylor, 22-13, with nine of those coming on the offensive end. Both teams shot 14-of-31 from the floor.
The game remained tight until Jackson led a 14-3 Baylor run to put the Bears in a favorable position heading down the stretch. Carlino knocked down three 3-pointers in the final 1:31 to keep things interesting, but Jackson took care of business at the free throw line to secure the win for the Bears.
Jackson needs just 10 points in the NIT championship to pass LaceDarius Dunn for most points in a season in Baylor history.
Baylor awaits the winner of Iowa and Maryland.