Baylor’s big men will likely continue to collect big rebounds when the No. 24 Bears host Alcorn State on Friday night. Seniors Terry Maston and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. have combined for 39 boards through two games while the winless Braves are being outrebounded by 15.
The 6-8 Maston is averaging a double-double off the bench for Baylor after recording one career double-double before this season. “(Terry) has really improved his rebounding,” coach Scott Drew said. “Offensively, he has always been pretty good; he has been more consistent this year. The rebounding has been important, especially since we lost (Johnathan Motley) who gobbled up so many.” Lual-Acuil Jr., a 7-foot senior who averaged 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks last year, will be the tallest player on the court Friday. The Braves have not won a non-conference game against a Division I opponent since beating Samford on Nov. 22, 2012.
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ABOUT ALCORN STATE (0-3): Senior guard A.J. Mosby leads the Braves with 12.7 points, and senior forward Reginal Johnson — who needs 33 points to reach 1,000 career points — adds 11 points and a team-best 5.3 rebounds. Sophomore forward Yalen Reed is off to a slow start, shooting 20 percent from the floor for 1.7 points and 3.3 rebounds after shooting 55.8 percent last year and blocking 18 shots. The Braves have allowed 93.7 points on 54 percent shooting during the first three games of a five-game road trip to open the season.
ABOUT BAYLOR (2-0): Senior point guard Manu Lecomte leads the Bears with 22.5 points, hitting 9-of-15 from the 3-point line and 14-of-14 from the free-throw stripe. Nuni Omot adds 13.5 points and 5.0 assists while Maston is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds. Lual-Acuil is shooting 50 percent from the floor for 10 points and also averages 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
1. Baylor has won 45 straight non-conference home games, the nation’s second longest streak behind Duke (134).
2. The Bears are shooting 57.1 percent from the floor with four starters shooting better than 50 percent and Maston’s 63.2 shooting clip.
3. Alcorn State hasn’t beaten a Power Five conference opponent since 1990-91 (Indiana).
PREDICTION: Baylor 98, Alcorn State 60