Jan. 24, 2008
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Baylor waited 39 years to get back into the Top 25. Then the Bears had to wait some more, enduring five overtimes to get their first win as a ranked team.
Curtis Jerrells scored a career-high 36 points, including 11 in the fifth overtime to lead No. 25 Baylor to a 116-110 win over No. 18 Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
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.
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.
"Texas A&M deserves a lot of credit," said head coach Scott Drew. "They didn't go deep in their rotation and still had the stamina to keep going. They put up a valiant effort. You didn't want to see anyone lose a game like this, but obviously I'm very proud of our team."
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.
"I lost count of the overtimes," said Jerrells. "This just shows the will and determination of this team. When we put our mind to it, no matter how long it takes, we're going to get it done. I'm tired but I'm not really that tired. Winning takes away a lot of that. We had a couple of key guys foul out and other guys stepped up."
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 to make 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.
Kevin Rogers' layup with 1:31 remaining 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.
Davis made two free throws before Jerrells added four quick points to make it 89-88 with 19 seconds left in triple OT.
Sloan made one of two free throws before Jerrells' tying layup.
The Aggies led 82-80 in triple overtime before Davis added a free throw and on the next possession a layup to push the lead to five points. A jump shot by Bruce cut the lead before freshman DeAndre Jordan hit a pair of free throws to make it 87-82 with 2:27 left in triple OT.
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.
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.
"We knew it was going to be an emotional time,"said Bruce. "We knew that the A&M rivalry exists and it's pretty heated. Our game plan was to take the emotion out of it and get to business. That's the character of our guys. I got asked how much longer I could have gone and the answer was `as long as it takes.'"
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.