Baylor-Dayton Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 26, 2013
Baylor avoided an upset in its opener of the Maui Invitational. Doing it again would mean reaching the championship game. The No. 18 Bears may be looking for a more complete performance Tuesday night when they meet upset-minded Dayton for the first time in the tournament semifinals. Baylor (5-0) used a dominating second half to beat Division II Chaminade 93-77 in the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational on Monday. However, the Bears only led by three at halftime while surrendering 11 3-pointers before limiting the Silverswords to three after the interval. They also survived Chaminade guard Christophe Varidel's stunning 42-point performance before pulling away for their most lopsided win of the season. "We saw on film that they shoot the ball very well. We wanted to get out and contest every shot," guard Gary Franklin said. "We didn't expect it at all, but we made the adjustments we needed to win." Showing improvement from the start could make things a lot easier on the Bears, who have led by single digits or trailed going into halftime four times this season. It could also help them avoid another potential upset after the Flyers (5-0) stormed back from a nine-point halftime deficit to stun No. 11 Gonzaga 84-79 on Monday. They shot 60.7 percent in the second half and finished 9 for 21 from behind the arc while holding a 40-29 rebounding advantage. "The second half, the guys were ready to play,'' Dayton coach Archie Miller said. ''From that point forward, we were the team we wanted to be.'' Jordan Sibert is looking to lead the Flyers to a fourth win in five games against ranked opponents after scoring 16 of his career-high 23 points in the second half Monday. The junior guard, a transfer from Ohio State, was outstanding from long range, hitting 5 of 8 to improve to 13 for 26 on the season. He had that many 3s on 50 attempts as a reserve with the Buckeyes in 2011-12. Dyshawn Pierre is looking for some consistency after scoring 15 points with nine rebounds Monday. He totaled 10 points and three boards in the two previous games. He'll likely have to contend with Cory Jefferson, who leads Baylor with 9.6 boards per game while adding 13.4 points. The senior forward had 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks against Chaminade. Like Sibert, Franklin is looking to build on one of the best performances of his career. He had a personal-best 22 points while connecting on 6 of 10 from behind the arc, and his six assists matched a career high. Franklin had totaled 21 points and nine assists through the first four games. The winner will face either No. 8 Syracuse or California in the championship game Wednesday night.
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