National Basketball Association
Baylor 92, Colgate 67
When: 12:40 PM ET, Friday, March 22, 2024
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Officials: # Bart Lenox, # Marques Pettigrew, # Tim Smith
Attendance: N/A

MEMPHIS -- It might have been a late-morning start Friday, but third-seeded Baylor was wide-awake and ready to go for its NCAA Tournament West Region first round game.

Four players scored in double figures and the Bears canned 16 of 30 3-pointers to dispatch 14th-seeded Colgate 92-67 at FedEx Forum.

"Hopefully, we saved a couple of made 3s for the next game because 16 of 30 is pretty efficient," Baylor coach Scott Drew told reporters after the game.

Jalen Bridges scored a game-high 23 points for Baylor (24-10), which advances to the second round Sunday against Clemson. Ja'Kobe Walter added 19, while Jayden Nunn tallied 15 and RayJ Dennis contributed 10 points plus nine assists.

"It's fun to be on the court with a bunch of guys that can score," Walter said. "Every day, we're in the gym and we see the work we put in."

Keegan Records paced the Raiders (25-10), which won 17 of 18 prior to this one, with 14 points. Sam Thomson added 11 and Patriot League Player of the Year Braeden Smith scored 10 points but it wasn't enough against the Bears' efficiency and brilliant long-distance shooting.

Baylor never trailed and led for all but 48 seconds. The Bears established their first double-figure lead less than 5 1/2 minutes into the game and led by at least 10 points for the game's last 28:06.

Baylor blew things open after Colgate clawed within 31-23 on Thomson's putback at the 8:28 mark. The Bears ripped off nine straight points as Dennis hit a pullup jumper in the lane and a 3-pointer, followed by two foul shots from Walter and Josh Ojianwuna's layup for a 40-23 advantage with 5:34 left.

No matter what combination of players Raiders coach Matt Langel tried, the outcome was the same for most of the game. The Bears moved the ball well and got an open look, usually burying it. They connected on 57.9 percent of their shots for the day, averaging an insane 1.69 points per possession in the first half.

"Clearly, we had no way of stopping them the way they shot the ball this afternoon. Their spacing, their execution put us in a number of dilemmas," Langel said. "Credit to Baylor. They didn't let their foot off the gas at all and kept making shots. They played with great confidence and freedom and made us pay for every mistake."

Baylor owned a 54-34 halftime lead after Yves Missi jammed home Dennis' missed layup just before the horn. The Bears sank 63.3 percent of attempts in the half.

The Bears also earned a 33-24 rebounding advantage for the game.

Colgate shot decently at 45.6 percent but made only 5 of 18 3-point tries.

--Bucky Dent, Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Colgate   Baylor
Keegan Records 14 Scoring Jalen Bridges 23
Ryan Moffatt 3 Assists RayJ Dennis 9
Braeden Smith 4 Rebounds Josh Ojianwuna 7
Parker Jones 2 Free Throws Made Ja'Kobe Walter 8
Parker Jones 2 Steals RayJ Dennis 2
Jeff Woodward 2 Blocks Jayden Nunn 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Colgate 67 45.6 5-18 10-14 11 22 3 10 8
Baylor 92 57.9 16-30 10-14 17 32 2 6 12