Call the Baylor Bears the Comeback Kids.
The 20th-ranked Bears rallied from a 20-point deficit in the second half to beat No. 10 Louisville 66-63 in the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis title game on Friday in Imperial Arena on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Baylor (6-0) completed its third second-half comeback in as many days, this one in stunning fashion. The Bears hit 11 straight field goals during a nine-minute stretch of the second half, shocking Louisville's previously stifling defense with 42 second-half points.
"We have been a second half team all tournament long, and we're just trying to get good ratings for ESPN," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
The Bears trailed at halftime against both VCU and Michigan State before Friday's title game. "We knew we had to make it interesting."
The Bears shot 65.4 percent from the field in the second half, hitting 11 straight shots during one nine-minute stretch, and outscored the Cardinals (5-1) 17-2 during a remarkable 10-minute comeback.
Baylor junior forward Johnathan Motley and sophomore guard King McClure had 15 points apiece and junior forward Terry Maston had 12. Motley hit just two field goals in the first half and McClure didn't have a point at halftime, but Drew figured out a way to get them involved in the second half.
"Coach (Rick) Pitino does a great job with the man, the zone and the press and it makes it tough to get the ball where you want it to go and who you want it to go to," Drew said. "The big thing was the first half they just dominated the boards, and we weren't giving ourselves a chance to win."
Motley was named Atlantis MVP. He scored 60 points in three games.
"It's just a great feeling," Motley said. "Coach put me in the right plays and my teammates made sure I got the ball in the right spots in the second half."
The Baylor bench outscored Louisville's bench 36-18, including McClure's 15 points and junior guard Jake Lindsey's eight points.
"Those guys just gave us great energy in the second half, and I am so happy for them," Drew said. "You just love those guys who haven't had a chance to get as much playing time, but they work hard and play hard when they do get a chance."
As good as the Bears looked in the second half, Louisville dominated the first half. Scoring 25 of the first 30 points, the Cardinals bullied Baylor from the opening tip. Louisville's tough defensive pressure held Baylor to one field goal in the first six minutes and didn't allow the Bears to score consecutive field goals until less than four minutes before halftime.
The Cardinals dominated the first 15 minutes, building a commanding 32-10 lead on the strength of 60 percent-plus shooting and physical, pressing defense.
Baylor had a 7-0 run late in the first half and cut the halftime margin to 39-24, but Louisville remained in control. The Cardinals had just one turnover to the Bears' six and outrebounded Baylor 25-13. Snider led all scorers with 11 first-half points.
Louisville led by 20 points after scoring the first five points of the second half, but Baylor came roaring back as Louisville's legs began to fade and its stiff defensive pressure began to fade away.
"This loss is all me, not the players," Pitino said. "All me. ... I've got to get some confidence in our bench somehow."
Louisville had just 10 second-half rebounds and committed six turnovers. Baylor's run really kicked into high gear when McClure hit back-to-back threes after Baylor missed its first eight shots from three-point range.
"We had some chances early in the second half, but we were 0-fer from three point range until McClure hit those," Drew said. "The thing was, Ishmael Wainwright kept us together during those tough times, and if you don't ave that leadership and don't have that guy who just cares about the team, then it can go South in a hurry."
Louisville finally responded to Baylor's 17-2 run with a three by Mitchell with just over three minutes left. A dunk by Motley put Baylor back ahead 61-59 on the next possession, and the Bears went up by four with a jumper in the lane by Maston.
Mitchell hit two free throws to cut Baylor's lead in half. The Cardinals fouled and Baylor's McClure hit one of two to put the Bears up 64-61. Louisville freshman Ryan McMahon missed a 3-pointer, but Louisville got the tip-in.
The Cardinals fouled McClure, who calmly sank both free throws to ice the 66-63 win.
Louisville placed Mitchell and Snider on the all-tournament team along with Motley and Miles Bridges from Michigan State and Markus McDuffie from Wichita State.
NOTES: Baylor hit 11 straight field goals with 16:15 to 7:34 left in the second half. ... The Bears erased a 20-point second-half deficit for the first time this season. ... Baylor trailed at halftime in all three of its wins in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. ... Louisville played in Atlantis one other time, in the 2012 season. That year, the Cardinals lost to Duke in the Atlantis final. Later that season, Louisville beat Duke in the Sweet 16 en route to the 2013 NCAA Championship. ... Baylor hit just two 3-pointers, going 2 of 13 from beyond the arc.