Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin both contributed 16 points as the No. 20 Baylor Bears defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, 69-64, on Wednesday.
Jefferson also pulled down 11 rebounds to record his third straight double- double. Brady Heslip was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and netted 11 points as Baylor (4-0) stayed perfect on the season.
"No coach likes an ending when we let the game get that close, and we obviously did not take care of the ball and finish well. The good thing is that you are going to have close games through the year, and you always want to win close games. It's great for us to be in that situation, and now we will be able to teach how to handle that situation," said Baylor head coach Scott Drew.
Will Saunders led Charleston Southern (2-3) with 16 points and Sheldon Strickland knocked down 4-of-5 3-pointers as part of his 14-point performance as the Buccaneers lost their third straight game.
"I thought we played much better in the second half, particularly in the last 10 minutes. I thought we really competed a lot harder and really were a lot more efficient the last 10 minutes," said Charleston Southern head coach Barclay Radebaugh.
After a turnover by Kenny Chery with close to a minute remaining in the game, Saunders hit a contested shot from beyond the arc to cut Baylor's lead to three, 67-64, with 54 seconds remaining.
Austin missed a jumper and Cedrick Bowen pulled down the rebound for Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers moved down the court and after a missed three, Saah Nimley turned the ball over after stepping out of bounds with nine seconds left.
Charleston Southern was forced to foul and Chery knocked down both free throws to account for the final score.
Baylor jumped out to an early 8-0 lead until a dunk from Bowen put Charleston Southern on the board at 16:17.
Charleston Southern showed off their potent 3-point game with three consecutive shots from beyond the arc, with two coming from Strickland to cap a 13-1 run six minutes into the first half
Taurean Prince stole the ball and raced down the court to finish a layup to extend Baylor's lead to 26-19 with 3:22 remaining in the first. Austin made a free throw to put Baylor up 32-28 to end the half.
Both teams relied on their 3-point shooting in the second half, with Baylor going 6-of-8 in the second half, while Charleston Southern made 7-of-16 over the final 20 minutes.
The two squads traded two 3-pointers apiece midway through the second half with Strickland capping off the streak to cut Baylor's lead to 49-43 with 12 minutes remaining.
The Buccaneers inched closer as a reverse layup from Saunders made it a four- point game with Baylor in the lead, 59-55, at the 6:36 mark.
Franklin put the Bears up by seven with a three to make it 62-55. A blocked shot by Jefferson allowed Chery to grab the rebound and dish to a streaking Franklin who hustled up the court for a layup that highlighted a 7-0 run by Baylor with 3:57 remaining.
Baylor has won their last nine games, which is tied for the second longest active streak in the nation ... Eight different Baylor players played over 10 minutes for the fourth consecutive game ... This was the first meeting between the two teams.