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Baylor 85, Creighton 55

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Baylor’s interior defense and outside shooting trumped Creighton’s star and all of the Bluejays’ motivation.

No. 6-seeded Baylor drained 11 3-pointers, clamped down on Creighton forward Doug McDermott and bumped the No. 3-seeded Bluejays from NCAA Tournament 85-55 on Sunday in a third-round West Region game at the AT&T Center.

Baylor, which has won eight of its last 10 NCAA Tournament games, advances to play Wisconsin in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. The Bears (26-11) advanced to the region final in each of their last two tournament trips in 2010 and 2012.

But Baylor had not defeated a higher-seeded team during that run, a trend the Bears overturned against Creighton (27-8).

Baylor guards Kenny Chery and Brady Heslip each hit their first four 3-point attempts. Heslip finished with 17 points while Chery had 14. On the inside, Baylor center Isaiah Austin scored 17 points and forward Cory Jefferson added 14.

Baylor went 11-for-18 from beyond the 3-point arc, most of the misses coming after the game was already in hand. The Bears shot 64 percent from the field.

Creighton could not find its rhythm on offense until early in the second half, and by that time the Bluejays trailed by 20 and could not stop the Bears.

McDermott, the nation’s leading scorer at 27 points per game, had three points at halftime and finished with 15, but still led Creighton in scoring.

Creighton fell a win short of the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season.

Baylor raced to a 20-point lead at halftime on the strength of hot 3-point shooting.

The Bears hit 7-of-9 3-pointers in the first half as Chery went 3-for-3, Heslip went 2-for-2 and forward Royce O’Neale went 2-for-2.

Baylor was already ahead by 13 when it produced a 9-2 run late in the first half. Heslip hit a 3-pointer and O’Neale capped the run with a trey to give the Bears a 20-point lead for the first time, 38-18, with 2:42 left before the break.

Baylor’s zone defense frustrated Creighton in the first 20 minutes as the Bluejays shot 37 percent and 11 percent from 3-point range.

NOTES: Creighton entered the game with a 3-0 all-time record against Baylor, most recently defeating the Bears, 77-76, in overtime in 1999 in Waco, Texas. … Baylor reached the regional final in its two previous tournament trips, losing to Duke in the South Region final in 2010 and to Kentucky in the South Region final in 2012. … Entering the game, Creighton F Doug McDermott needed four 3-pointers to reach 100 for the season for the first time in his college career.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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