(AP) Kenny Chery scored 12 of his 20 points in overtime and No. 12 Baylor returned from an extended break with a 91-84 victory over Northwestern State on Wednesday night.
Chery had a steal in the first minute of overtime after Sabri Thompson lost control of the ball. Chery picked it up and drove to make a tough short jumper while being fouled. He shouted out while still sitting on the court after the ball went through the hoop to put the Bears (9-1) ahead to stay. He added the free throw.
There was an assist for Chery on Gary Franklin's 3-pointer in the extra period. After Brison White's jumper got Northwestern State within 82-80 with 2 minutes left, Chery drove for a layup and then made a 3-pointer after a shot-clock violation by the Demons (4-6).
Cory Jefferson had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Baylor, which was playing for the first time in 12 days. Rico Gathers had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Franklin added 11 points.
Jalan West had 26 points for Northwestern State, including a tying 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in regulation.
Chery, the junior college transfer who took over as Baylor's starting point guard this season, had a chance before time ran out. But he drove and missed with 2 seconds left, and Royce O'Neal then missed a putback.
DeQuan Hicks and Zikiteran Woodley had 15 points each for the Demons, and White had 11.
Jefferson had a thunderous two-handed dunk after a behind-the-back pass from Franklin with 2:49 left in regulation that gave the Bears a 74-69 lead, but that wasn't enough to avoid overtime.
West made a jumper before Chery had a bad pass that went out of bounds for a turnover. Northwestern State then got a second-chance tip by White after he missed his own shot with 1:17 left. But Jefferson made two free throws with a minute left for a 76-73 lead.
West missed a 3-pointer, but White got the rebound to give him another chance and West hit from the top of the key.
Northwestern State had a 38-36 rebounding edge, the first team this season to beat Baylor on the boards.
The Bears played for the first time since a 67-62 win over then-No. 3 Kentucky on Dec. 6. That game before final exams was at the Dallas Cowboys' massive stadium where the NCAA Final Four will be played in April.
The game was tied 38-all at halftime before Jefferson scored nine points in the first 4 minutes of the second half to put Baylor ahead to stay. His alley-oop dunk from Franklin at the end of that spurt gave Baylor a 51-45 lead.
Northwestern State plays Thursday night at UTEP. The Demons stayed in Waco after the game, before driving about 100 miles to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for a day-of-game flight to El Paso.