The Baylor Bears took the floor for the first time this season on Thursday facing the Central Oklahoma Bronchos in Waco, Texas. Although the Bears came out victorious, 86-71, there are plenty of areas that need to get cleaned up before the season starts on November 13th.
"That's why you have those exhibition games," said Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew after the team's victory. Drew continued, "Starting with the positives, I thought defensively we held them to 36 % which is very good. Rebounding numbers 49 to 36 was good. Assists to turnover ration, that has got to get better with 12 to 17. We didn‘t shoot the ball well 2 for 18, and still were able to score 86 points."
Lacedarius Dunn led all scorers with 24 points, and the junior guard added 5 rebounds and 2 steals. When the Bears needed a big bucket, Dunn was the one they turned their eyes to.
Just coming out there, I felt okay. We did what he had to do to come out here and get the victory," said Dunn. "But it also comes from the other 4 guys on the floor, my teammates. They gave me good looks, and I just knocked them down."
7 new faces saw action against the Bronchos, including forward Ekpe Udoh, a transfer from Michigan. Udoh displayed a strong defensive presence recording 3 blocks and hauling in 6 defensive rebounds on the night. Udoh recorded his first double double in a Baylor uniform dropping in 12 points and recording 12 rebounds on the night. Central Texas native Cory Jefferson, a true freshman from Killeen, made the most of his 8 minutes of action. The wiry freshman scored 8 points and brought down 4 rebounds and brought the Ferrell Center crowd to its feet with a two-handed dunk on a fast break. Another player seeing his first game action was freshman Nolan Dennis who logged 20 minutes and 3 rebounds, although he was held scoreless on 0-3 shooting. Freshman guard A.J. Walton scored 4 points and grabbed 3 boards on the night in 19 minutes, while fellow freshman Givon Crump scored 4 points in 7 minutes. Other newcomers that played included Dragan Sekelja who scored 1 point in 6 minutes, and Oscar Griffin who played 3 minutes in the contest.
On a night in which the Baylor coaches and players were trying to evaluate the team chemistry of the 5 guys on the court, the Baylor starters certainly showed they came to play. Senior guard Tweety Carter dropped in 12 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, while fellow senior, center Josh Lomers, added 10 points.
The Bears shot poorly from the 3-point line, 2-18, and turned the ball over 17 times on the night. Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears will be looking to improve on those numbers before taking on Norfolk State in the season opener on November 13th.
Baylor Cruises To Exhibition Victory, 86-71
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