After an extended break, No. 2 Baylor will play for the second time in three days when it hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday night in Waco, Texas.
Baylor (5-0) is coming off a dominant, 100-69 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon. It marked the second time the Bears have reached the century mark in scoring this season, and it boosted the team's point-per-game average to 92.6.
Coach Scott Drew and his highly touted team will look to continue its success against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7), which earned its only win on Dec. 9 over Arkansas State. All of the Golden Lions' losses have come by double digits, including a 25-point setback in their most recent game Tuesday against North Texas.
Before this stretch of two games in three days, Baylor played only one game during a 16-day span. The Bears had one game canceled and three others postponed because of COVID-19 issues. Among the postponed games were a showdown with No. 1 Gonzaga and a clash with Big 12 rival Texas.
Bears guard Jared Butler said the inconsistent schedule created some adversity.
"It's just hard," Butler said. "As a basketball player, you're always in an on-edge type of mode. When you get a game canceled, it's like you get out of that mode. It's stop, start. You just try to refocus and try not to think about it and control what you can control."
Baylor has fared well in that regard. The Bears showed their versatility on Saturday with 15 3-pointers, 58 percent shooting overall and a 41-25 advantage in rebounds.
MaCio Teague led the team with 23 points, and Davion Mitchell contributed 20. Butler registered his first career double-double with 14 points and 13 assists.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff could have its hands full against Baylor's aggressive, guard-heavy lineup. The Golden Lions have given up 90 points or more four times in eight games, and none of those opponents compare favorably with the speed and skill of Baylor.
The top opponent Arkansas-Pine Bluff has faced so far is then-No. 7 Wisconsin, which rolled to a 92-58 win on its home court Nov. 27. Three Golden Lions players scored in double figures that day, including Shaun Doss Jr. (16 points), Joshuwan Johnson (13) and Dequan Morris (10).
Arkansas-Pine Bluff is led by coach George Ivory, who has held the role since 2008. He previously served as an assistant with Mississippi Valley State.
Ivory has praised his seniors, including Morris, Terrance Banyard and Markedric Bell.
"The experienced guys on the roster have been a tremendous help with implementing our system with the new guys on the team," Ivory said at the start of the season. "They've shown great leadership since the start of practice, and that has been a great benefit to us."
One player to watch on Baylor is Mitchell, who is coming off a terrific game in which he drained a career-high six 3-pointers on 10 attempts. Mitchell made 7 of 12 attempts overall and added three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
--Field Level Media