Texas Southern rallies for 72-69 upset opener at Baylor

WACO, Texas (AP) — Jaylyn Patterson helped give his old coach Johnny Jones quite a start in his new job at Texas Southern.

Patterson, a graduate transfer from LSU, scored 23 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 21 seconds left as Texas Southern rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to upset Baylor 72-69 in the season opener for both teams.

“We just kept fighting. We came to win, play hard. Just played the whole 40 minutes,” Patterson said.

Baylor had never lost to a SWAC school. The Bears had won the previous 56 such games, 11 of those against Texas Southern.

Jones was LSU’s coach before spending last season as associate head coach at Nevada. He took the Texas Southern job after the departure of Mike Davis, who went to Detroit Mercy after leading the Tigers to four NCAA Tournaments the past five years.

“This is a great win for our program against a quality team like Baylor,” Jones said. “It’s about growth and we’re hopeful that we’ll grow from tonight.”

Patterson’s 3 from the left wing was part of a game-ending 34-14 run for the Tigers. He also had two free throws with four seconds left.

“He was obviously the difference in the game. Fifth-year guy from LSU who has been in these situations before,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “He was the one guy we couldn’t lose, he was the one guy you couldn’t give up the shots to.”

King McClure, the lone returning senior and the only of three returning Baylor lettermen, also had 23 points. His layup with 37 seconds left had put Baylor up 69-67 before Patterson’s big 3.

McClure then missed a layup with five seconds left, then followed Patterson’s free throws with a potential tying 3-point try that came up well short as time ran out after it appeared to be deflected.

“Not the start we wanted to the season,” Drew said. “Came in knowing we had the fourth-fewest returning lettermen and played like it tonight. We got in foul trouble. … We played like first-game jitters.”

Still, Baylor led 55-38 after Freddie Gillespie made a jumper with 14 minutes left. Jeremy Combs then made a free throw before Devocio Butler scored seven in a row for Texas Southern — on a jumper, a layup and a 3-pointer — to get the decisive run started.

Trayvon Reed had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Texas Southern. Butler had 13 points and Jeremy Combs 11.

Tristan Clark had 11 points for Baylor, while Mark Vital and Devonte Bandoo each scored 10.

MISSING D1 TRANSFERS

Baylor has two Division I transfers among the nine newcomers, but they both missed the opener. Graduate transfer Makai Mason from Yale didn’t play because of a right ankle sprain, and Mario Kegler will miss the first six games for a violation of unspecified team rules. Kegler is a sophomore who redshirted at Baylor last year after transferring from Mississippi State.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Southern got its first NCAA Tournament victory last season. Before Patterson’s late 3, the Tigers hadn’t led since a Butler 3 that made it 8-7 about 4 ½ minutes into the game — and they trailed 40-27 at halftime.

Baylor was 3-of-11 on free throws, including Vital’s missed 1-plus-1 with 3 ½ minutes left. The Bears had won their previous 46 consecutive regular season non-conference home games against unranked opponents.

UP NEXT

Texas Southern, which plays its first six games on the road, heads West to play Gonzaga on Saturday night. The Tigers won’t play at home until Nov. 29 against Huston-Tillotson.

Baylor plays its next two games against SWAC schools, with a game Saturday against Southern and next Monday against Prairie View. The first non-SWAC team they play is Nicholls State on Nov. 16.