Baylor Bears vs. Seton Hall Pirates Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 5th 2023

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After a series of dominating wins against mid-major foes, No. 6 Baylor will move up in weight class on Tuesday against Seton Hall in a Big East-Big 12 Battle matchup in Waco, Texas.

Tuesday’s game will be the first encounter between Baylor and Seton Hall. They were scheduled to meet in November 2020 before COVID issues within the Baylor program forced the cancellation of that contest.

The Bears (8-0) roll into the game after an easy 91-40 victory over visiting Northwestern State (La.) on Saturday. Jalen Bridges scored 16 points, Yves Missi added 13 points and 10 rebounds and RayJ Dennis hit for 14 points for Baylor, which shot 53.3 percent from the field and outrebounded the visitors 51-22.

Baylor built a 26-point lead at the break as it limited Northwestern State to just five made baskets in the first half. The Bears held the visitors to 25 shooting overall, while the Demons’ 14 points before halftime were the second fewest allowed by Baylor in the Big 12 era (since 1996-97).

“The more we play, the more games, we get more connection between each other,” Missi said. “We’re just getting better every time. Hopefully, next game we reach another goal and (hold them to) less than 25 (percent).”

The Bears’ defense has been exceptional but a focus on that aspect of the game has been a constant for recent Baylor teams.

“I love how this team plays hard, competes,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “We just have to do it all the time. This has to be the standard, and it can’t be the exception. Now, we need to do this the rest of the season. (Holding Northwestern State to) 25 percent, that’s remarkable.”

The battle with Seton Hall is the first of an uber-challenging stretch for the Bears to close the non-conference schedule. After the Tuesday’s game, Baylor will enter a pronounced break before playing Michigan State on Dec. 16 in Detroit and No. 22 Duke on Dec. 20 in New York City.

“Obviously, you’d rather learn through wins than losses,” Drew said. “But the next stretch, we’ve got a Big East, a Big Ten, and an ACC team. That should tell us where we need to be and what we need to focus on before we get into the grind of the Big 12.”

The Pirates (5-2) head to Waco after an 88-75 win over Northeastern on Wednesday in Newark, N.J. Al-Amir Dawes led Seton Hall with 25 points and Kadary Richmond added 21 in the victory.

The win allowed the Pirates to bounce back from back-to-back losses to USC and Iowa in the Rady Children’s Invitational in San Diego last week.

Seton Hall shot 59.3 percent from the field in the win, including 75 percent (18-for-24) in the second half. Forty-six of its points were produced in the paint. The Pirates also distributed 16 assists, with 15 coming from the team’s three starting guards.

“That’s pretty good basketball right there,” Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway said after the win. “Three playmakers: That’s our vision. I’m super happy about that because the message is being sent – pass the ball.

“I don’t want to try to outscore people. I want to play D. I’m happy to have 88 points but we’ve got to try to stop people. We’ve got a long way to go.”

–Field Level Media

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