No. 16 Baylor 87, Grambling St. 52
WACO, Texas (AP)
Even with both projected starting guards suspended, No. 16 Baylor scored the first 11 points of the game - getting the first two even before the opening tip.
With a high-flying display of dunks from Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones and freshman sensation Perry Jones, the short-handed Bears went on to a season-opening 87-52 victory over Grambling State on Friday night.
There was no slow start or close call like their only exhibition game, when the Bears pulled out a win against overmatched Midwestern State after 10 ties and 11 lead changes.
''That was the goal all week after the exhibition game,'' said Acy, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. ''Practices were more revved up. We came out ready.''
They got off to such a quick start, they were up 2-0 on two free throws by Fred Ellis before tipoff after Grambling State was assessed a technical foul for dunking and hanging on the rim during pregame warmups.
Guards LaceDarius Dunn and A.J. Walton sat side-by-side on the bench in street clothes. Dunn will miss two more games for his suspension following his arrest last month for a domestic dispute charge involving his girlfriend, while Walton served a one-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules.
The Bears unveiled before the game their 2010 NCAA tournament banner signifying their appearance in the South Regional final last season, one win shy of their first Final Four appearance in 60 years.
''That is motivation. Elite Eight, I don't like that number. We want championship,'' Acy said. ''The girls got that big white and green (national championship) banner. We got the little one.''
With Dunn out, the only returning starter on the court Friday from last season's team that set a school record with 28 wins was forward Anthony Jones - who had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the opener.
Tweety Carter and Josh Lomers were seniors last season. Ekpe Udoh bypassed his senior season for early entry in the NBA draft and was the sixth overall pick by Golden State.
Freshman sensation Perry Jones made a thunderous debut when the 6-foot-11 forward had an alley-oop dunk on a half-court pass from fellow freshman Stargell Love for the first Baylor field goal of the season - less than a minute into the game.
Perry Jones finished with 11 points and eight rebounds while J'mison Morgan scored 12 points.
''One thing that really got us was their length. You could definitely tell it was a different type of player out there. They have some high-major players on the floor who really bothered our guys,'' said Grambling coach Bobby Washington, who has 10 newcomers on his roster. ''They're going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12.''
Brandon Wilson led Grambling with 18 points while Yondarius Johnson had 12.
Baylor announced before the game that Dunn's suspension would go through the first three games of the regular season. He will be eligible to play again Nov. 22, against Lipscomb.
Dunn, the team's leading scorer last season, had been indefinitely suspended since police accused him of breaking his girlfriend's jaw. The woman, Lacharlesla Edwards, disputed police accounts, saying Dunn didn't hit her and her jaw wasn't broken. Edwards, the mother of Dunn's 3-year-old son, has asked that all charges be dropped.
Waco police sent the case to McLennan County District Attorney John Segrest, who hasn't commented. Segrest recently lost his re-election bid and will leave office Jan. 4.
It wasn't until after the game began that Baylor said Walton was suspended for one game. He will be able to play the next game, Tuesday against La Salle.
Anthony Jones and Acy scored seven points each as Baylor opened the second half with a 16-6 run to stretch its lead to 57-31. Jones hit a 3-pointer and had two layups, while Acy had a dunk, a baseline drive and a three-point play off an inbounds play in that spurt.
After Baylor's game-opening 11-0 run, Wilson made a layup for Grambling's first points.
But the Bears responded with six more points, a tip-in and a dunk by Morgan and another dunk by Acy. They were up 38-19 before halftime when Anthony Jones drove from the left wing for a left-handed slam.
''We have a lot of long-winged athletic guys,'' Acy said. ''At practice, somebody is getting dunked on every day. In a game, it's fun to do it on other people.''