Baylor outlasts Aggies in 5 overtimes

January 23, 2008 10:02:58 PM PST
Curtis Jerrells sat down, slumped his shoulders and exhaled audibly. "I'm tired," he said.

No one could blame him after he scored a career-high 36 points in 53 minutes of No. 25 Baylor's 116-110 five overtime win over No. 18 Texas A&M on Wednesday night.

Jerrells scored 11 points in the final overtime and another 11 in the previous four to lead his team. He also had eight assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block.

"I don't even know how many overtimes it was," Jerrells said, looking confused.

Told it was five, he shook his head.

"That just shows the ability, the dedication and the will of this team," he said. "If we put our minds to it, no matter what happens we're going to get it done."

Baylor (16-2, 4-0 Big 12) won its fifth in a row and first since entering the rankings for the first time since 1969 on Monday. It broke a 15-game home winning streak for Texas A&M and is the Aggies' third straight loss.

"I think this has been great for our team and even more enjoyable as a coach, being able to step back and be so happy for our community and fans and everybody that waited so long for this," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "And obviously it's pretty sweet for us to break through in the rankings and then have a game like this."

Three free throws by Jerrells gave Baylor a 106-103 lead in the fifth overtime. Dominique Kirk got A&M (15-4, 1-3) within a point with a layup on the next possession.

Jerrells pushed the lead back to 3 with his steal and layup with about a minute left. Aaron Bruce added a pair of free throws before a layup by Bryan Davis made it 110-107 with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Jerrells added four more free throws and LaceDarius Dunn chipped in a pair to ensure the win.

The small but vocal group of Baylor fans chanted "B-U!" incessantly as time ticked down in the final overtime and players jumped around wildly and hugged after the clock ran out.

Davis, who led A&M with a career-high 30 points, made a layup with 9 seconds left in the fourth overtime to knot it at 99 and send it to the fifth OT.

"Five overtimes is asking a lot when you're just not as deep as you need to be," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said.

Dunn scored five points in the first half of quadruple overtime to give Baylor a 97-94 lead with about three minutes to go. Davis made two free throws to get A&M within one before a layup by Tweety Carter made it 99-96 with about a minute left.

Just as he had late in triple OT, Donald Sloan made just one of two free throws, this time making it 99-97.

Jerrells scored six points in the last 1:01 of triple overtime, including the tying layup with 10 seconds left to leave it at 90-all and force the fourth overtime.

"Jerrells, he's something else," Turgeon said as he looked over the stat sheet.

Kevin Rogers' layup with 1:31 remaining in triple OT cut A&M's lead to 87-84 and he fouled out less than 30 seconds later, the fourth Bear to foul out. In all, five Baylor players fouled out. Rogers finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds.

"You didn't want to see anyone lose a game like this," Drew said. "I don't think you could come up with any more of a team effort."

Both teams managed just four points apiece in the second overtime, with Davis scoring all the Aggies' points. A&M's Sloan had a chance for the win at the buzzer, but his layup was blocked by Rogers to take it to triple overtime.

Kirk forced the second overtime when his tip-in at the buzzer made it 76-all. He missed a 3 on the play and a tip by Davis bounced off the rim before Kirk swooped in for the rebound and shot.

Turgeon was impressed with Davis, who had 14 rebounds to go with his 30 points.

"Bryan Davis was just a warrior tonight," Turgeon said. "He was great."

Sloan, who had 18 points, got the inbound pass and streaked past Rogers and the rest of the Baylor defenders for the one-handed dunk to tie it a 64 and force overtime.

The teams combined to shoot more than 100 free throws, with Baylor going 39-of-47 and A&M making 36-of-59.

The game lasted so long that even one of the referees got confused. In the break before the start of the fourth overtime, a referee approached a member of the media and asked if triple overtime was about to begin. When told it was four, he shook his head and walked off.

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