NEW ORLEANS - As Josh Lomers ambled over to the bench after fouling out, Baylor coach Scott Drew began waving his arms, asking the crowd to show his 7-footer some love.
There was no need. The fans were already roaring their approval after the senior helped save the Bears' season.
"We needed him to come through for us," Drew said. "I think you saw a senior that didn't want to play his last game."
Lomers tied a career-high with 14 points, 12 in the second half, and third-seeded Baylor withstood a firm challenge from No. 11 Old Dominion for a 76-68 victory yesterday in a second-round game in the South region of the NCAA Tournament.
LaceDarius Dunn scored 26 points for the Bears, who squandered a 14-point first-half lead but went on a late 8-1 run to pull away. Baylor (27-7) now heads back to its home state to play 10th-seeded Saint Mary's in Houston in the South Regional semifinals.
Overlooked for most of the season - and even for most of this game - Lomers kept the Bears in it after a second-half rally by Old Dominion. He had six rebounds in the half, five at the offensive end, and his three-point play that put Baylor ahead 65-61 started the final big run.
Dunn's three-pointer made it 68-62, and a reverse layup by Tweety Carter put Baylor ahead by eight. By the time Lomers fouled out, his teammates were safe from an upset.
"It's a testament to our team," Lomers said. "We have a lot of weapons that can do a lot of things. You have to worry about everybody on the court."
Old Dominion (27-9), which edged No. 6 seed Notre Dame 51-50 in the first round, was trying to become the first team from the Colonial Athletic Association to reach the round of 16 since George Mason's Final Four run in 2006.