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Matthew Mayer scored 15 points and Kendall Brown added 14, all in the second half, as No. 6 Baylor fought off VCU 69-61 on Thursday in a rugged semifinal game in the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The Bears remained undefeated and will face Michigan State, a 64-60 winner over UConn in Thursday's first semifinal, on Friday in the tournament final. VCU will square off against UConn in the third-place game, also on Friday.

Baylor (6-0) led by a bucket after a gritty first half in which nearly every possession was highly contested. The Bears went up by 11 points six and a half minutes into the second half, endured an 8-0 run by the Rams and went toe-to-toe with physical VCU down the stretch.

A putback layup by Adam Flagler with 1:33 to play pushed Baylor's lead to 63-56, enough for the Bears to hold on for the win. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua added 13 points for Baylor.

VCU's Vince Williams led all scorers with 17 points, with Levi Stockard III hitting for 13 for the Rams (3-3) in the loss.

The Rams scored the game's first three points before Baylor ran off a 12-0 spurt and scored 17 of the ensuing 20 points, capped by a basket by LJ Cryer, to take charge at 17-6.

Down 25-14 with 6:56 to play in the half, VCU reeled off a 13-4 run -- with the final seven points by Stockard III -- to pull to within 29-27 at the break.

Tchamwa Tchatchoua led all scorers with 11 points in the half while Stockard had 10 to pace the Rams. Both teams shot 37.5 percent from the floor, while Baylor had a 19-18 edge in rebounds and committed 13 turnovers to VCU's 12 over the first 20 minutes of play.

Baylor began the second half with a 9-0 run behind six points from Kendall Brown to take a 38-27 lead. The Bears were up by 11 at the 13:30 mark before VCU answered with eight consecutive points to pull to within 45-42, setting the stage for a furious final 10 minutes.

--Field Level Media

This article originally ran on gwinnettprepsports.com.

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