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Wednesday’s basketball: Baylor rolls to 9-0

DetroitNews-Unknown

Waco, Texas — With its work in the classroom finished for the semester, No. 4 Baylor was ready to focus on basketball Wednesday night.

The Bears had taken an 11-day break for final exams, but they didn’t show any rust with five players scoring in double figures, led by Johnathan Motley’s 20 points and 10 rebounds, in an 89-59 victory over Southern.

“Coming off finals, you’re always worried: Is the team going to be focused? Are they going to have their legs? Are they going to come out and not be ready to go?” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “And we got out to a great start and got separation early. And then, did a good job of maintaining that.”

The Bears (9-0) hadn’t played since a 76-61 win over then-No. 7 Xavier on Dec. 3, but opened on an 11-0 run and scored 15 of the game’s first 18 points. They turned 11 first-half Southern turnovers into 20 points on the other end.

Jared Sam and Shawn Prudhomme scored 24 points each to lead Southern (4-6). They combined to shoot 18 for 27 from the field, but the rest of the Jaguars combined to make five field goals.

“We finally got Shawn and Jared going, but that was mostly in the second half,” Southern coach Roman Banks said. “In the first half we had no rhythm. In the second half, we cut it to 19 and we missed a couple layups. That was our last true run at that point.”

Ishmail Wainright helped Baylor with 14 points and five steals, Al Freeman put in 14 points and Jo Lual-Acuil and King McClure went for 10 apiece. Manu Lecomte and Jake Lindsay both had eight assists for Baylor.

“Early in the second half, we tried to make some spectacular plays instead of making the easy plays,” Drew said. “And we want to make sure we’re operating more efficiently, but I think the guys just wanted to excite the crowd a little bit. The big thing is we were pretty consistent the entire night defensively, holding them to 59 points. And 22 assists on 36 made field goals was very impressive.”

More Top 25

(At) No. 14 Wisconsin 73, Green Bay 59: Nigel Hayes scored 24 points to lead Wisconsin. Zak Showalter added 16 points, including a career-high four 3-pointers, and Ethan Happ had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Badgers (10-2).

The Badgers were a little lethargic to start and trailed Green Bay 12-11 almost 9 minutes into the game. But they reeled off a 20-4 run that included a nearly 5-minute scoreless drought for the Phoenix (4-6).

Green Bay cut the lead to seven early in the second half. But Wisconsin responded with a 25-8 run that blew the game open.

Kerem Kanter led Green Bay with 18 points.

Big Ten men

(At) Northwestern 68, Chicago State 64: Vic Law led Northwestern (8-2) with 18 points, Sanjay Lumpkin had 11 rebounds and the Wildcats won their fifth straight.

(At) Rutgers 82, Farleigh Dickinson 69: Corey Sanders and Mike Williams scored 15 apiece for Rutgers (10-1).

(At) Minnesota 76, Long Island-Brooklyn 66: Dupree McBrayer scored 21 and Nate Mason had 19 points and seven assists for Minnesota (11-1).

Slam dunks

Authorities in Lawrence, Kan., dismissed a battery charge against Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. and charged the woman who accused him of shoving her into a stairwell. Bragg, a 20-year-old sophomore, was suspended indefinitely from the Kansas basketball team after he was arrested last Friday.

... NCAA president Mark Emmert has named Dan Gavitt senior vice president of basketball.