Devonte Bandoo scored 25 points and Baylor bounced back from a surprising season-opening loss with an 80-53 blowout of Southern on Saturday at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
Tristan Clark added 17 points for the Bears (1-1) on 8-of-9 shooting, and Baylor’s defense clamped down on the Jaguars (0-2) in the second half.
Senior guard Eddie Reese led Southern with 18 points, and freshman guard Jayden Saddler finished with 11 points.
After a sluggish start, the Bears started find their rhythm midway through the second half. Jared Butler and Darius Allen hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, and Bandoo converted a traditional three-point play to give the Bears a 50-35 lead at the 12-minute mark.
Baylor scored 16 straight points during one stretch in the second half to pull away from the Jaguars, including three straight 3-pointers by Bandoo, Jared Butler and Darius Allen and a traditional three-point play by Bandoo that made it 50-35 at the 12-minute mark.
Matthew Mayer added 12 points for the Bears.
Baylor entered the season with limited expectations. The Bears went 19-15 last season, settling for an NIT bid. They received an opening reality check in a 72-69 loss to Texas Southern. Baylor blew a 17-point lead in the second half and lost to a team from the SWAC for the first time in program history.
The Bears found themselves in another tussle with a SWAC foe on Saturday and went into halftime clinging to a 31-27 lead.
Southern, picked to finish sixth in the SWAC in the preseason poll, was coming off a 20-point loss at Alabama. The Jaguars continue a difficult early schedule at Louisville on Tuesday. They’ll also face power-conference teams Marquette and Iowa State before beginning conference play.
Baylor hosts Prairie View A&M on Monday.
The start of the game was delayed an hour due to a shattered backboard.
—Field Level Media