Acy has 22, Baylor still falls to Kentucky, 82-70

Quincy Acy kept his promise and didn’t back down as the Bears

tried to send the message early that they would not be intimidated

by Kentucky.

But the senior’s efforts did more to fire up the Wildcats as

Baylor’s Final Four dream ended with an 82-70 loss to Kentucky in

Sunday’s South Regional final.

Acy had 22 points but had too little scoring help as Baylor was

overwhelmed by Kentucky’s talent and depth.

Pierre Jackson had 21 points, including five baskets in the

final 2 minutes. Baylor had only one other scorer in double figures

and couldn’t pull closer than 10 points.

Perry Jones III added 17 points for Baylor (30-8), which was

denied its bid for its first Final Four appearance in 62 years. The

Bears led 10-5 but Kentucky answered with a 16 unanswered points

never lost the lead.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s 19 points led Kentucky (36-2), which

will play in-state rival Louisville in the Final Four on

Saturday.

Acy said Saturday Baylor couldn’t shy away from Anthony Davis

and Kentucky’s other shot-blockers.

Acy backed up his point less than 2 minutes into the game when

his hard foul on Terrence Jones, who was trying to score on a fast

break, sent the Kentucky forward sprawling off the court into the

Baylor cheerleaders.

After reviewing the play, officials called a flagrant foul on

Acy.

The play gave the Bears a temporary boost. A 3-pointer by Quincy

Miller capped an 8-0 run that gave Baylor a 10-5 lead.

Kentucky’s answer was devastating.

Led by Kidd-Gilchrist, the Wildcats took command by scoring 16

unanswered points. Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer had 3-pointers

in the run.

Kentucky kept up the pressure after Acy’s jumper ended Baylor’s

scoring drought that lasted about 5 minutes. Jones and Davis

combined for five blocked shots and three steals and the Wildcats

led 42-22 at the break.

Brady Heslip missed a 3-pointer to open the second half, setting

up a dunk by Jones. It was a telling start to the final 20 minutes

as the Wildcats continued to take advantage of Baylor’s misses and

mistakes.

A 3-pointer by Doron Lamb stretched Kentucky’s lead to 23 points

at 51-28 early in the second half. Even as guards A.J. Walton and

Gary Franklin were called for their fourth fouls, Baylor stretched

its defense to a full-court press as it tried to rally.

Heslip’s first 3-pointer cut Kentucky’s lead to 63-50. Teague

and Kidd-Gilchrist answered the challenge with back-to-back baskets

before Terrence Jones slammed home his missed free throw to quickly

push the lead back to 19 points.

There was a scary collision early in the second half. Davis,

flying through the air on a drive to the basket, had his left knee

hit Perry Jones’ hip. Each player went to the floor and needed

assistance to his bench, but each soon returned.

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III attracted a crowd of

autograph-seekers before the game as he sat with other Baylor

fans.

Kidd-Gilchrist fouled out with 2:38 remaining. Franklin fouled

out for Baylor.