Jared Butler scored 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting to pace a balanced offensive attack as No. 16 Baylor rode a hot start to an easy 105-61 victory over Central Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon in the season-opener for both teams in Waco, Texas.
Baylor took any suspense out of the game in the first six minutes, scoring the first 19 points with a series of 3-pointers, dunks and the use of stifling defense. Central Arkansas missed its first eight shots and had three turnovers during that early pivotal stage, not even getting up a shot until almost three minutes into the game.
After that first surge, Central Arkansas played Baylor relatively even, with the score 53-32 at the half. Baylor led by as many as 44 points late in the second half with most of its starters on the bench for the final eight minutes.
Butler hit eight of Baylor’s 18 3-pointers as the Bears shot 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. MaCio Teague added 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Baylor, with Devonte Bandoo hitting for 15 points and Freddie Gillespie scoring 14 points.
Baylor enjoyed a 51-30 advantage on the boards and outshot Central Arkansas 56.3 percent to 36.1 percent.
Rylan Bergersen led Central Arkansas with 17 points while Eddy Kayouloud scored 13 and Hayden Koval added 12.
Butler paced Baylor with 16 points at the break, and Gillespie and Bandoo scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, over the first 20 minutes. Baylor outshot the visitors 57.6 percent to 35.7 percent in the first half, including a 9-for-15 showing on 3-pointers.
Baylor was picked second behind Kansas in this year’s Big 12 preseason poll, which matches the program’s best-ever finish in that prediction. Baylor was also picked second in 2013.
Central Arkansas never got closer than 21 points in the second half and allowed a 13-0 run over the final 3:18.
—Field Level Media