No. 25/23 Baylor edges No. 16/13 Vanderbilt in Waco


WACO, Texas (AP) — No. 16 Vanderbilt is 0-2 against the Big 12 this season.

The Commodores couldn’t hold on after scoring 17 points in a row midway through the second half, as No. 25 Baylor erased a 13-point deficit on way to a 69-67 victory Sunday night when Lester Medford made a 3-pointer while being fouled in the final minute.

“They got aggressive. We turned the ball over like crazy and just didn’t play like we needed to play, the way we had played to that point,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “But you’ve got to give them credit. They became the aggressors.”

The Bears (6-1) missed nine shots in a row before Prince hit a 3-pointer to finally end their scoring drought and start a stretch when Vanderbilt (6-2) had four of its 17 turnovers. Prince had seven points in the 13-0 run to get the Bears even, including a one-hander off the glass while falling down and his steal that led to a fadeaway jumper.

“He’s a good player, very versatile,” Vandy guard Matthew Fisher-Davis said. “I guess I could have done a better job on him.”

Vandy also lost to No. 4 Kansas, the perennial Big 12 champion and again preseason favorite. The Jayhawks beat the Commodores 70-63 in Maui last month.

Wade Baldwin IV had 19 points for the Commodores, but fouled out when he knocked down Medford on the game-winning shot with 42 seconds left — the last points scored in the game. Fisher-Davis had 11 points.

Fisher-Davis had a pair of 3-pointers and two assists in the 17-0 run over a 5-minute span. His later assist came on Baldwin’s run-capping 3-pointer that put Vandy up 52-39.

But it was 52-all when Ismail Wainright drove the baseline for a two-handed slam with 8:40 left.

Medford finished with 15 points. Rico Gathers had 10 points and 13 rebounds, becoming Baylor’s career rebounding leader.

Medford stayed sitting on the floor, gritting his teeth and shaking both fists as teammates gathered around the point guard after his big 3 from the left corner.

“Ah, man, it was electric,” Prince said. “Props to Al Freeman. … I wanted the ball, but Al got in the lane and drew two, then fed Les in the corner.”

Gathers fouled out while going for the rebound when Medford missed his free throw. But Nolan Cressler missed two free throws at the other end for Vanderbilt.

The Commodores got off two shots in the final 4 seconds, including Cressler’s baseline jumper after a rebound.

“It felt like pulling teeth the whole night. I felt like I was asking for things the entire night that I wasn’t getting,” Stallings said. “We kind of got what we deserved. We should have won the game, but we didn’t deserve to.”

Prince had 19 points in the first half, including a stretch of 10 consecutive points for the Bears in a span of 2 1-2 minutes to put them ahead.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores made the first of three trips to Texas this season. They play Jan. 30 at Texas in the Big 12-SEC Challenge, then close their regular season March 5 at Texas A&M.

Baylor: Prince’s 30 points matched Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield for the most by a Big 12 player this season. … The Bears have played 52 consecutive games without allowing an opponent to reach 75 points. … The Bears won their seventh consecutive game against the Southeastern Conference over four seasons.

Vanderbilt: Hosts Dayton on Wednesday night. Baylor: Hosts Northwestern State on Tuesday night.