WACO, Texas – Pierre Jackson had 20 points and 13 assists in his final home game for Baylor as the Bears beat Providence 79-68 in an NIT quarterfinal game Wednesday night.
Cory Jefferson added 26 points and Rico Gathers had 10 rebounds for the Bears (21-14), who go to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden for the second time in four years. They play BYU (24-11) next Tuesday.
Providence (19-15) had three 20-point scorers — Bryce Cotton with 23, Vincent Council 21 and Kadeem Batts 20. Only one other player scored for the Friars, who got to quarterfinal with a win over Robert Morris, the team that beat Kentucky in the first round.
Baylor went ahead to stay when Cory Jefferson had a dunk with 8:11 left for a 60-59 lead. That started a 7-0 run over 71 seconds that Jefferson capped with a three-point play.