No. 5 Baylor aims to continue momentum against Northern Colorado

11/11/2022;  Waco, TX, USA;  Baylor Bears guard Keyonte George (1) drives past Norfolk State Spartans forward Dana Tate Jr. (21) in the second half at the Ferrell Center.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Keyonte George is considered the greatest recruit in Baylor’s history, and he wastes no time making a difference.

The 6-foot-4 guard is looking to put on his second straight strong performance when the No. 5 Bears take on northern Colorado in Waco, Texas on Monday.

The fifth McDonald’s All-American in program history gave it his all in Friday night’s 87-70 win over Norfolk State with 23 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. George also dumped six 3-pointers for Baylor (2-0).

“That was the shot that was open,” George said after the win. “We came to the paint and found ourselves open and they were 3-ball. Luckily they fell for us. It’s not a coincidence. We make shots, the ball will continue to run in the rim.

George had a shaky evening of shooting in his college debut as Baylor rolled to a 117-53 win over Mississippi Valley State.

He was a bit nervous at the start of the contest and never found a flow of shots. He had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds but was only 4 of 13 from the field, including 2 of 8 from 3-point range.

“I didn’t feel it last game, but I got my teammates involved,” said George, who averages 18.0 points, 7.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

“The shots will be fired, you just have to control what you can control. My shot rang out and I did everything I could do. We came out with the win and that’s the most important thing.”

Adam Flagler averages 19.5 points for Baylor as the team’s best. He has made 13 of 20 field goal attempts, including 8 of 12 from 3-point range.

Jalen Bridges (16.5) and LJ Cryer (11.5) also average in the double digits. Bridges, a transfer from West Virginia, scored 20 points against Norfolk State.

“You get people who can shoot for him and look good, he can definitely put up numbers,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said of Bridges.

Drew will see a familiar face on the court for Northern Colorado in freshman guard Caleb Shaw.

Shaw is Drew’s nephew and had 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench as Northern Colorado (1-1) defeated Texas A&M Commerce 80-77 on Friday night.

Shaw made 6 of 8 field goal attempts, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

“He had some great shots, he got some great things right,” Northern Colorado coach Steve Smiley said of Shaw. “But at the same time he did a big sweepstakes to help us seal that game with a rebound.”

Dalton Knecht averages a team-high 13.5 points while Shaw and Daylen Kountz average 13.0.

Kountz led the Big Sky by 21.2 goals last season but got off to a terrible start, missing all nine field goal attempts and scoring just three points in an 83-36 season-opener loss in Houston. He scored 23 points in Friday’s game.

Smiley, who is in his third season as manager, on Thursday agreed to a contract extension until the 2026/27 season.

Baylor won the only previous meeting on December 26, 1941 in Oklahoma City by 64-44.

–Field level media