No. 9 Baylor beats South Carolina State 70-50By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Basketball Writer Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011
WACO, Texas (AP)—Anthony Jones went to both sides of the court and finally got ninth-ranked Baylor on a roll.
Jones opened the second half with consecutive 3-pointers, one from the right side in front of his teammates on the bench and then one from the left side, and the Bears went on to a 70-50 victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday night.
“We needed a spark. We weren’t making shots early and came out kind of sluggish,” Jones said. “At halftime, we were kind of down on ourselves by how we played in the first half. We felt like it was important to come out and play our basketball, the way we’ve been playing all season.”
Those 3-pointers by Jones, who finished with a career-high 21 points, got the Bears (4-0) started on a roll of 14 consecutive points in just more than 4 minutes to start the second half. That came after they scored the final five points before halftime to break the final tie.
“That’s how you open a game,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “They were stuck on one point for a long time and the next group came in and kept them on one point for a long time. So a lot of good things right there.”
After Jones made his key shots, Brady Heslip also hit a pair of 3-pointers before a turnaround jumper by Quincy Miller for a 47-28 lead.
Jones was 9-of-14 shooting and had three 3-pointers. Pierre Jackson added 11 points for Baylor, which plays at home again Wednesday night.
Brandon Riley scored 13 points to lead South Carolina State (2-2), but also had nine turnovers. Khalif Toombs added 12 points.
South Carolina State had seven turnovers, six by Riley, and had missed five shots to start the second half before Toombs grabbed a defensive rebound and then scored with 13:08 left.
“The second half, they started applying pressure on us. We had six straight possessions where we got nothing out of the possession,” Bulldogs coach Tim Carter said. “We never recovered from that. They did a good job putting pressure on us after halftime.”
The Bulldogs closed the gap to 54-38 on a 3-pointer by Riley with 7 1/2 minutes left that capped an 11-2 run in which Toombs had two 3-pointers before Drew called timeout.
With another game in less than 24 hours, Drew kept rotating players. This game didn’t start until after 9 p.m. local time because it was part of a doubleheader and followed the top-ranked Lady Bears’ 109-59 victory over Yale.
The game was tied 28-all after Omar Sanders had a tip-in for South Carolina State with 1:18 left in the first half. Sanders finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“It was just slow and sluggish,” Quincy Acy said of the Bears’ play up to that point. “We’ve got to work on that as a team. When it’s like that, somebody has to do something to get a spark. Ant Jones came out with the buckets.”
Acy’s jumper with a minute left in the first half put the Bears ahead to stay, and they were up 33-28 after A.J. Walton’s tip-in just before the buzzer.
Miller, the freshman who had been the Bears’ leading scorer each of the first three games, was held to five points on 2-of-8 shooting.
That will be the last game Baylor will have to play without preseason Big 12 player of the year Perry Jones III, the 6-foot-11 sophomore forward who has been serving a six-game NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits before he got to Baylor.
Jones’ suspension started in Baylor’s final game last season. He will be eligible to return next Tuesday at home against Prairie View.