National Basketball Association
Baylor 78, Syracuse 69
When: 9:57 PM ET, Thursday, March 21, 2019
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Officials: # Rick Crawford, # Lamar Simpson, # D.J. Carstensen
Attendance: 16807

Point guard Makai Mason scored 22 points, and ninth-seeded Baylor hit a season-high 16 3-point shots to beat eighth-seeded Syracuse 78-69 Thursday night in an NCAA Tournament West Region first-round game at Salt Lake City.

Mason scored 16 of his points in the first half but was scoreless in the second half until hitting a key jumper with 2:43 left after he grabbed the rebound of his own miss. The basket gave the Bears a 72-67 lead.

He put in two free throws at the 1:09 mark for a seven-point advantage. Mason made two more foul shots for the game's final points with 31.4 seconds to go.

The teams battled from the 3-point arc for much of the game, combining to hit 28 from long distance, but Syracuse faltered late -- making one of its last 10 attempts -- to give Baylor breathing room.

The 28 3-pointers set an NCAA Tournament record for a non-overtime game.

Baylor (20-13) will play top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Syracuse (20-14) saw the end of its streak of first-round victories in its past eight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Orange shot 12 of 29 from 3-point range.

Junior forward Elijah Hughes scored a career-high 25 points for the Orange. Tyus Battle had 16.

Mason, playing through a foot injury, made 4 of 10 3-point attempts. Baylor's Jared Butler drilled 4 of 9 from deep en route to 14 points. Mario Kegler scored 13 for Baylor, which wound up 16 of 34 from behind the arc.

It was a one-possession game for nearly the first 12 minutes of the second half until Mark Vital's put-back gave Baylor a 62-57 lead. That was part of an 11-2 Baylor run for a 68-59 lead. Hughes went on a personal 6-0 run to make it 68-65.

The first half was a shooting showcase, with Baylor eking out a 38-37 lead at the half. The Bears hit 10 of 18 3-point shots over the first 20 minutes while Syracuse was 9 of 17.

Baylor came out firing against Syracuse's 2-3 zone defense, hitting five of its first seven 3-point shots, including a banked trey from Butler, to take a 15-4 lead.

Syracuse joined the barrage, drilling five consecutive 3-point attempts to get within 20-19. The teams combined for 12 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes.

Syracuse played without senior point guard Frank Howard, who was suspended because of a "violation of athletic department policy," the school announced Wednesday.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Baylor   Syracuse
Makai Mason 22 Scoring Elijah Hughes 25
King McClure 5 Assists Tyus Battle 3
Mark Vital 6 Rebounds Oshae Brissett 8
Makai Mason 4 Free Throws Made Paschal Chukwu 5
Makai Mason 3 Steals Tyus Battle 1
Freddie Gillespie 2 Blocks Elijah Hughes 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Baylor 78 53.8 16-34 6-9 20 31 4 7 12
Syracuse 69 41.2 12-29 15-18 12 21 4 5 13