Perry Jones III scored 27 points with some high-flying plays in his season debut and No. 7 Baylor defeated Prairie View 90-54 Tuesday night to wrap up its season-opening six-game homestand undefeated.
The Bears, after quickly falling behind 11-2, never trailed after Pierre Jackson’s bounce pass to Jones for a one-handed slam dunk that made it 17-16 midway through the first half. That was part of 16 consecutive points by Baylor in a 4-minute spurt when Jones scored nine points.
Jones, the 6-foot-11 sophomore forward who was the preseason Big 12 player of the year, had to sit out the first five games to complete an NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits before he got to Baylor. His six-game penalty included the Bears’ finale last season in the Big 12 tournament.
Baylor has won all 42 games it has played against SWAC teams, including 12 against Prairie View (2-6). The Bears opened the season with consecutive wins over Texas Southern and Jackson State, also SWAC teams.
The Bears reached their highest AP ranking ever after winning their first five games without Jones, who as a freshman averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds a game while making 55 percent of his shots.
In his first game back, Jones had 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting by halftime. He finished 10 of 14 from the field.
Jackson had 17 points and eight assists while Quincy Acy had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Cory Jefferson had 12 points and Deuce Bello 10.
Quincy Miller, the 6-9 freshman forward who led Baylor in scoring with 15.2 points a game the first five games, sat out as a precaution after rolling his left ankle in practice over the weekend. He is expected to play Sunday at Northwestern, when the Bears play their first non-conference road game in nearly two years.
Montrael Scott had 14 points and Demondre Chapman had 13 for Prairie View, which was playing the sixth of seven straight road games since opening the season with consecutive victories at home.
Prairie View was up 16-13 on a 3-pointer by Ryan Gesiakowski.
Acy then scored with a strong inside move on a pass from Jackson to start the 16-0 run. Acy then had rebounds on three consecutive Prairie View misses that led to Baylor points, the first coming on Jackson’s bounce-pass for Jones that put Baylor ahead to stay.
Anthony Jones then had a 3-pointer before Jackson flipped an overhand pass to Perry Jones streaking through the lane for another slam while being fouled before adding the free throw. By time Jones drove hard for a layup between two defenders and made another jumper, the Bears has a 29-16 lead.
That was a drastic change from the opening minutes when Scott, a freshman, made three 3-pointers the first 4 minutes to push the Panthers ahead 11-2. Baylor was 1-of-7 shooting at the time, the only make by Jones on his first shot of the season.
Baylor finally scored again on Fred Ellis’ alley-oop pass to Jones, who came along the baseline for the slam.
Another 3-pointer by Scott finally ended Baylor’s 16-0 spurt, but Jackson then hit a 3-pointer as the Bears scored another eight in a row and led 46-24 by halftime.