By Chad Conine, The Sports Xchange
WACO, Texas — The fourth-ranked Baylor Bears manhandled NAIA opponent John Brown University and claimed a 107-53 victory on Sunday at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears were playing their second game in less than 24 hours in two different venues. Baylor defeated Jackson State 82-57 on Saturday night in Fort Hood, Texas.
But the quick turnaround was no problem for the Bears. Forward Johnathan Motley scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Baylor. Guard Al Freeman added 16 points, guard Chuck Mitchell had 13, forward Jo Lual-Acuil scored 11 and forward Terry Maston pitched in 10.
“Everybody just wanted to play basketball,” Motley said. “It was just another game to have fun. The best part of the season is playing games, so we try to have as much fun as possible.”
Forward Josh Bowling scored 14 to lead John Brown.
Baylor’s nonconference credibility is safe as the Bears have defeated four top-25 opponents this season, including three in the top 10.
But the Bears have taken a big step back in competition recently.
“Schedule-wise, we’ve played the last couple years, for RPI purposes, a non-Division I,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “There’s method to the madness. John Brown, yes, a different level, but I think for us older people in the room, we all remember (then-NAIA Chaminade’s upset of top-ranked Virginia in 1982). Each and every year, you have non-Division I teams that get upsets.”
It didn’t take Baylor (11-0) long to ease past the Golden Eagles (9-5).
When Motley got the ball ahead of the defense on a fast break and passed an alley-oop pass off the backboard that Lual-Acuil dunked, it was clear the Bears were simply toying with the Golden Eagles.
The Motley-to-Lual-Acuil trick dunk gave Baylor a 64-33 lead with 14:13 left to play. Soon after, Drew sent in a fresh five.
Baylor took control quickly with a 13-2 run early in the first half.
The Bears took advantage of a distinct height advantage in the front court to drive the streak. Motley had an inside basket, Lual-Acuila threw down a dunk and another interior bucket that he turned into a 3-point play.
Baylor kept rolling with a 9-0 run later in the first half as guard Jake Lindsey made a slashing jumper in the lane, Chuck Mitchell hit a 3-pointer and guard King McClure got to the basket for a layup.
Baylor forward Terry Maston then hit a jump shot that put the Bears ahead 27-7 with 10:23 to go before halftime.
The Bears scored 22 points off of John Brown’s 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Baylor shot 65 percent and outrebounded the Golden Eagles 20-7 to take a 53-28 lead to halftime.
Guard Al Freeman hit 3-of-4 3-pointers to lead Baylor with 13 points in the first half.
Bowling scored 11 to lead John Brown in the first 20 minutes.
Although the Golden Eagles failed to stay close for very long, they managed 28 first-half points on the strength of shooting 6-of-15 from beyond the 3-point arc.
“You don’t come in just resign to getting smashed,” John Brown coach Jason Beschta said. “We want to compete and we want to get better in a game like this. But it is exciting for a small school to be able to come into this kind of environment.”