No. 2 Baylor uses stout defense to get past No. 5 Illinois

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Illinois' Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) looks to shoot as Baylor's Mark Vital (11) and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (23) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS – Scott Drew watched No. 2 Baylor's first two games in quarantine.

When he returned to the sideline Wednesday night, he found himself coaching in a vastly different atmosphere — and relying on a familiar script.

Adam Flagler scored 18 points, three of his teammates also reached double figures and Baylor used its trademark defense to turn the game and pull away from No. 5 Illinois for an 82-69 victory in the Jimmy V Classic.

To Drew, it felt like old times.

“The last two games I thought our offense was further along than our defense," he said. “I think our defense has caught up more to where we were last year and you know you're going to need it to play like that every night to win games.”

It's bad news for the rest of college basketball, though.

Baylor (3-0) outrebounded the Fighting Illini 20-10 and forced twice as many turnovers as it committed in the second half while also outscoring Illinois in the paint and off the bench in the school's first non-conference top-five matchup.

And after an uncharacteristic first half, Drew understood why his players might have been a little unnerved.