Lake Charles native Mark Vital helps Baylor reach Final Four for first time in 71 years

Lake Charles native Mark Vital helps Baylor reach Final Four for first time in 71 years
Baylor Bears guard/forward Mark Vital (Source: Baylor Bears Sports Information)

INDIANAPOLIS, In. (KPLC) - The Top-seeded Baylor Bears are headed to the Final Four following their defeat of the south region’s No. 3 seed, Arkansas, in the Elite 8 Monday night. Baylor built a commanding early lead and held off a tenacious Arkansas offensive attack to win, 81-72. It’s Baylor’s first trip to the Final Four since 1950.

Lake Charles native and former Washington-Marion Charging Indian Mark Vital continued to be the Bears’ “glue guy” as the senior totaled four points and four rebounds in 18 minutes of play. Vital has started every game this season although he’d fouled out vs. Arkansas.

His shining moment in the game came just before he fouled out when he slammed down a putback bucket as part of a 10-1 Baylor run late in the second half.

Baylor opened the game with a 15-3 lead before the Razorbacks would eventually cut the lead to just six points with 19:52 left in the game. The Bears were able to create a few runs in the game thanks to defense (15 turnovers) and impressive three-point shooting (8-15).

The Bears were paced offensively by guard MaCio Teague’s 22 points. Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell combined for 26 points in the win.

Baylor will face second-seeded Houston as the Cougars make their return to the Final Four for the first time since their “Phi Slama Jama” team of 1984.

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