Bandoo 25 points for Baylor in 80-53 win over Southern U
WACO, Texas (AP) — Devonte Bandoo scored 25 points and Baylor got its first win of the season, 80-53 over Southern University on Saturday to avoid another setback against a SWAC team.
The Bears (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss to Texas Southern, their first loss to a SWAC team after winning the previous 56 such games in school history. Baylor used a 16-0 run against Southern University to turn a one-point deficit into a 50-35 lead with 12 minutes to go.
“The first six minutes of the second half and first half looked a lot like the first game, and the last 14 minutes looked a lot more like we’ve seen in practice,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “It was exciting to see like we’ve seen our team compete and play in practice. Hopefully we can build on that and keep carrying it over.”
Darius Allen began the deciding spurt with a putback with 15:28 remaining, and Bandoo, Jared Butler and Allen made 3s on consecutive possessions. Butler put in another layup, and Bandoo closed the run with a three-point play.
“I think the biggest difference we had the second half was we played with more energy,” Bandoo said. “We were more intense. We locked in. Coach talked to us going into the second half, got us really fired up to focus on the little things. I think that’s what helped us in the last 14 minutes to get that spurt.
Tristan Clark was 8-of-9 shooting to score 17 points for Baylor despite battling foul trouble for the second game in a row. Matthew Mayer had 12 points after failing to score in his first career game. The Bears were 15 for 21 from the free throw line after going 3 for 11 in the opener.
“In the scrimmages we were a good free throw-shooting team,” Drew said. “Put some fans out there and some nerves, and we weren’t very good (in the opener). Over time you get more of what you see in practice in the game, and hopefully we can get to that level.”
Eddie Reese led the Jaguars (0-2) with 18 points but had no assists with seven turnovers, and Jayden Saddler added 11.
“We’re still trying to change the culture, being able to sustain,” Southern coach Sean Woods said. “These guys still can’t sustain yet. We were just turnover after turnover, unforced turnover, not getting back — discipline. Those are things I’ve got to change, and it’s going to take a minute to change old habits, old mentalities. I thought we had a chance to win the game if we just stay the course. We didn’t stay the course.”
The start of the game was delayed by almost an hour because of a shattered backboard that occurred about three hours before the scheduled tipoff. The cause of the break is unknown, but the delay was because an entirely new goal was installed and bolted in different spots than the old one.
Southern: The Jaguar guards, led by Reese, found some alleys to the basket in the first half. Those were mostly shut off after halftime, however, and the Jaguars got only 10 frontcourt points. They also relied heavily on one-on-one play and finished with seven assists.
Baylor: The Bears’ upped their defensive intensity in the second half, and live-ball turnovers began turning into easy baskets on the other end. All told, Baylor scored 33 points off the Jaguars’ 21 giveaways, while allowing only four off its nine turnovers.
MIXING AND MATCHING
Baylor used a smaller lineup in its last game but had two bigs in Clark and Freddie Gillespie in the starting lineup this time.
Drew said that was because the Bears’ lack of experienced players, especially without transfers Makai Mason (right ankle sprain) and Mario Kegler (serving the second of a six-game suspension) in the lineup. “Without them we’re still searching. Hopefully we can get Makai back sooner rather than later.”
Southern will play its third straight road game against a Power Five team when it meets Louisville on Tuesday.
Baylor will play its third straight home game against a SWAC opponent against Prairie View A&M on Monday.