DALLAS (AP) – When Pierre Jackson drove around Dee Bost, the 11-game winning streak was over for No. 15 Mississippi State.
Sixth-ranked Baylor remained undefeated with a 54-52 victory over the Bulldogs, who put only one ball through the hoop in the final 6 minutes while losing for the first time since the opening week of the season.
“Frustration is not the word I’m feeling now,” Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury said. “Missing shots, turning the ball over; that’s part of the game some. Those are things you can get better at, and we know we have things to get better at in those areas.”
Jackson got around Bost for a layup with 28 seconds left, and the Bulldogs (12-2) then lost control of the ball with a chance for a final shot.
But Rodney Hood had the ball knocked away while going up for a shot. Jackson then swatted the ball to the other end of the court, and Baylor coach Scott Drew emphatically pumped his right arm as the game ended.
“Coach called the play, but another player was confused. So, it was a broken down play and we had to try to make something happen,” Hood said. “I saw the time going down and I tried to be aggressive and tried to draw a foul, but it didn’t go that way.”
The Bears (13-0) are off to the best start in school history, winning their first game against a ranked opponent this season on a night when No. 4 Louisville and No. 13 Indiana had already lost for the first time. Baylor is one of four undefeated teams left in Division I.
“The key to their team is Jackson. He’s the guy that makes them go,” Stansbury said. “They’ve got a lot of other guys on that team that can score a lot of different ways, but Jackson’s ability to manufacture baskets, that’s the key.”
The Bulldogs didn’t score again after Quincy Acy was called for goaltending on a shot by Arnett Moultrie, making it 52-50 with 3:20 left.
But with just under 3 minutes left, Jackson missed the front end of a 1-and-1. He then had a steal but missed the breakaway layup.
Then Jackson missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but Acy got knocked to the ground and Renardo Sidney was called for his fifth foul with 1:35 left and then a technical for his reaction to the call.
Quincy Miller made one of the free throws for the technical before Acy made a free throw to tie the game at 52.
Bost missed a shot for Mississippi State, then almost forced a turnover on the other end without being able to keep the ball in bounds.
Then came Jackson’s game-winning play.
“A lot of players wouldn’t have the guts to take the last shot or make the last play,” Drew said. “He made a great move, got to the hole and finished it, and I think that shows his heart and his courage.”
Miller had 12 points for Baylor and Brady Heslip added 11, all before halftime with three 3-pointers.
Jalen Steele and Sidney each had 10 points, while SEC rebounding leader Moultrie had eight points with 10 rebounds. Sidney was 5 of 6 from the field, but played only 19 minutes because of his foul problems.
The Bulldogs lost for the first time since a 68-58 setback to Akron in the second game of the season. Their winning streak included consecutive wins over Top 25 teams Texas A&M and Arizona.
Mississippi State had its biggest lead of the game when Bost had a steal that lead to a breakaway two-handed slam by Sidney for a 46-42 lead with 8:40 left.
The Bears got even at 48 on A.J. Walton’s inbounds alley-oop to Perry Jones III for a dunk with just under 7 minutes left. Jones was only 4 of 13 from the field for eight points.
About a minute later, Bost made a floater in the lane for a 50-48 lead, but that was the last ball the Bulldogs actually put through the hoop since Moultrie’s basket was on a goaltending call.
“The game is a fine line, it comes down to inches. Inches here or there,” Stansbury said. “I know we left four free throws on that backboard in the last minute, I know that.”
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