CHARLESTON, S.C. — Pierre Jackson can’t help but smile when Baylor teammate Isaiah Austin makes a big play. Jackson was smiling a lot in the 16th-ranked Bears’ 84-74 victory over Boston College on Thursday in the Charleston Classic.
Jackson had a season-high 31 points, and Austin scored 16 points, had nine rebounds and locked down talented Eagles forward Ryan Anderson to help the Bears advance in the eight-team tournament.
The Bears (3-0) will face Colorado, the team they defeated during their run to the NCAA final eight last season, on Friday for a spot in the Charleston Classic final.
If Baylor continues to advance, you can bet Jackson and Austin had plenty to do with it.
“When Isaiah gets going it gets us all going,” Jackson said. “When he does something, you see him out there yelling and showing emotions. It got me going.”
Especially during a critical 10-0 run midway through the second half. The Bears were down to Boston College 52-47 and struggling to make shots when Austin took control with a pair of baskets, pumping his fists and shouting as he got back on defense.
Jackson took over after that with a pair of 3-pointers that put Baylor ahead for good, 57-52. The Eagles (1-1) came as close as 64-63 before Austin had a three-point play to restore the lead. When Austin made his third 3-pointer of the season with 3:50 left, the Bears were ahead 75-66 and on the way to victory in the first matchup ever between these two schools.
Austin also did the job defensive, holding Anderson to 1 of 4 shooting in the second half after BC’s sophomore made eight of 12 shots in the opening period.
“I thought the first half, they did a great job spreading us out,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “We were giddy and gambling and not very sound at all. The second half, we did better.”