Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Baylor was tested Monday, but the 22nd- ranked Bears survived with a 70-66 win over the visiting Southern Jaguars.
Johnathan Motley led Baylor (10-1) with 19 points, and Rico Gathers added 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Southern (3-10) remained winless against D-I opponents this season.
Adrian Rodgers paced the Jaguars with 26 points, making 9-of-17 shots from the field. Trelun Banks contributed 13 points and had seven assists.
The opportunistic Jaguars stayed in the game by taking advantage of Bears turnovers. Baylor committed 13 turnovers, and Southern converted them into 18 points.
"I thought Southern's game plan was very good," said Baylor coach Scott Drew. "They really controlled the tempo."
It appeared that Baylor was going to put Southern away with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the game when four straight free throws extended its lead to a game-high 11 points.
Even though the Bears did not hit a shot from the floor in the final six minutes, they sealed the win at the foul line by missing just one of 12 attempts down the stretch.
Without Rodgers, Southern may have let the game get away in the second half. He scored 15 of its final 18 points of the contest on 6-of-9 shooting after the break. The rest of the team combined to shoot 5-of-18.
"I would say that's the toughest team we've played in the non-conference schedule, just off physicality," said Gathers. "They were able to seal down low a lot to open it up for the wing shooters, and then their shooters made shots."
The Jaguars got back in the game when Banks hit a pair of triples to start a 12-0 run that gave Southern its first lead of the game with a minute left in the first half. It wound up being its only lead of the game.
Baylor used four free throws from Motley to take a 34-31 lead at the break.
Baylor is 7-0 against Southern, but this was the only meeting decided by fewer than 11 points ... This is the first time this season an opponent has scored more than 65 points against the Bears ... Baylor is 10-0 when scoring 60 or more points ... The Bears take the court next on Dec. 30 against Norfolk State, while Southern's next game is on Dec. 29 at Hawaii.