No. 9 Baylor wins 81-55 over Oral Roberts
WACO, Texas (AP) - Taurean Prince and the No. 9 Baylor Bears just needed some time to get on track in their first game after the Christmas break. They then got on quite a roll.
Prince came off the bench and scored 10 of his 16 points in the go-ahead run as the Bears went on to an 81-55 victory over Oral Roberts on Monday night
"We just knew we had to get it going. You get down too much, it's hard to come back against any team," Prince said. "We just stayed strong defensively, sticking to our principles. We found a way to get the lead going into the second half, and then we came out with a bang in the second half.
The Bears (11-1), playing for the first time in eight days, fell behind 7-0 while missing their first six shots. They finally scored when Kenny Chery hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 14:13 left in the first half.
"After the Christmas break, you're always a little nervous about getting about getting back into a routine. The first 5 minutes of the game validated why we're nervous," coach Scott Drew said. "We couldn't throw it in the ocean. We weren't really moving, weren't active. Then we played 35 minutes of very good basketball."
Shawn Glover had 22 points to lead Oral Roberts (6-7), which has lost four of five games heading into its Southland Conference opener at home Thursday night against Houston Baptist. Denell Henderson had 16 points.
Cory Jefferson had 17 points for Baylor after not scoring in the first half. Isaiah Austin had 15 points while Rico Gathers had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bears have won 11 in a row at home, and 16 of 17 games overall in a stretch when their only loss is to second-ranked Syracuse in Hawaii last month. They are 35-5 in December games since 2007-08.
Baylor still has one more home game, Friday night against Savannah State, before opening Big 12 play Jan. 7 at Iowa State.
Oral Roberts had a 7-0 lead after Henderson's three-point play just less than 4 minutes into the game.
"I told my team that I've been coaching 15 years, especially the last 12 or 13 years, there have been very few games where we've been run out of the gym," Golden Eagles coach Scott Sutton said. "Tonight, that's what happened. Baylor's a very good team. I thought they played well tonight and our guys didn't. We just did a terrible job."
With the sixth-ranked Baylor football team in Arizona preparing to play No. 15 UCF on Wednesday night in the Fiesta Bowl, the Bears' first Bowl Championship Series appearance, the band, cheerleader and a lot of the university staff were absent from the Ferrell Center on Monday night.
Jefferson had two fouls in his 5 minutes before halftime, when he didn't take a shot or get a rebound. He finally scored only a putback dunk with 17:33 left, and added another less than a minute later with a highlight windmill on an assist from Gary Franklin.
"I wanted to make a statement in the second half and just come out and just go after everything," Jefferson said. "Just the fact I had horrible first half, I wanted to change that and completely turn it around."
The Golden Eagles also had some foul problems. Korey Billbury picked up three fouls with 8½ minutes left in the first half, and 7-footer Jorden Kaufman had three fouls just 3 minutes after that.
During the early Prince-led run, Glover had the only basket for the Golden Eagles. He also ended that spurt with his dunk with just less 6 minutes left, though Baylor led 36-25 at halftime.
"They're so long and athletic, it's hard to get good, clean looks at the basket. I thought we hung around for a while, but in the second half, they ran us out of the gym," Sutton said. "That's what's disappointing. I don't think our guys competed, especially on the defensive end like we should have."