WACO, Texas (AP) — Manu Lecomte scored 22 points and No. 18 Baylor won its fifth straight, 80-60 over Southern on Wednesday night.
Baylor went on a 13-0 run in the first half to pull away, then had an 11-2 spurt after Southern cut its lead to 46-40 midway through the second half.
The Bears (10-2) shot 63 percent from the field (31 for 49), including 11 for 22 from 3-point range. Lecomte was 6 for 9 on 3s. King McClure added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting for Baylor, which won despite turning the ball over 21 times compared to six for Southern.
The Bears’ inside game made its presence felt, especially on the defensive end. Baylor had a 41-26 rebound advantage and blocked 10 shots. Tristan Clark led the Baylor frontcourt with 11 points.
Jared Sam led the Jaguars (3-9) with 21 points, and Jamar Sandifer had 14. Southern shot 27 for 72 from the field (38 percent) but was only 2 for 15 from 3-point range (13 percent).
Southern: It was a well-played game by the Jaguars in terms of turnover margin. They didn’t do enough with Baylor’s mistakes, however, as the Bears’ turnovers turned into 19 points on the other end. Baylor scored 12 off Southern’s six turnovers. Southern also couldn’t find consistent ball movement and finished with 11 assists, just more than half of Baylor’s total of 20.
Baylor: It was a slow start for the Bears, who trailed 13-10 6 minutes in before ripping off its decisive first-half run. The Bears’ outside shooting finally opened up the lane in the final minutes, especially for Mark Vital, who had three late dunks and 10 points in a 5-for-6 night.
Southern will return home to meet Ecclesia College on Dec. 29.
Baylor begins Big 12 play on the road against No. 21 Texas Tech on Dec. 29.