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No. 18 Baylor opens new arena with win over Cornell


Ja’Kobe Walter poured in four 3-pointers as part of his 23 points to help No. 18 Baylor run away from upset-minded Cornell 98-79 on Tuesday in Waco, Texas, in the game ever played in the new Foster Pavilion.

The Bears (11-2) finished their nonconference schedule unbeaten at home, building a 16-point lead at halftime that whittled to just seven midway through the second half. Baylor then ran away with the game in the final minutes, pushing their advantage to as many as 23 with 51 seconds remaining.

RayJ Dennis added 18 points for the Bears, with Yves Missi hitting for 16 on 8-of-8 shooting and Jayden Nunn scoring 10.

Nazir Williams led the Big Red (10-3) with 17 points while Chris Manon and Isaiah Gray added 12 points each for Cornell, which plays in the Ivy League.

The first basket in the new arena was a putback jumper by Missi and Cornell’s Sean Hansen answered with the initial 3-pointer in the edifice. But that was the Big Red’s only lead of the contest as Baylor surged away from a 10-10 tie via an 18-4 run capped by a second-chance jumper by Walter at the 10:31 mark of the first half.

The Bears led by as many as 15 points before Cornell swung back and pulled to within 42-33 when Manon canned a jumper with 4:34 remaining in the half. Baylor ended the half with a 6-2 run as Walter’s ringing 3-pointer at the buzzer allowed Baylor to carry a 58-42 advantage into the break.

Williams paced all scorers with 14 points before halftime. Walter and Missi each had a dozen points to lead the Bears over the first 20 minutes as Baylor hit four of its final five shots of the half.

A pair of 3-pointers by Walter sandwiched around a layup from Manon in the first minute of the second half produced a 20-point lead for Baylor. The Bears sled 70-50 before Cornell forged a 13-0 run that finished with a layup by Manon halfway with 10:04 to play but the Big Red would get no closer.

Baylor opens Big 12 play on Saturday afternoon at Oklahoma State.

–Field Level Media

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