Baylor 80, Savannah State 50

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WACO, Texas -- Ninth-ranked Baylor had a massive size advantage Friday night against Savannah State and didn't shy away from using it.

The Bears got double-digit scoring effort from four of their frontcourt players and pounded the Tigers in the paint en route to a routine 80-50 victory at the Ferrell Center.

The win was Baylor's 12th straight on its home floor and ran Savannah State losing streak to 10. The Tigers have yet to win on the road (0-8) or away from home (0-10) this season.

Small forward Taurean Prince scored 12 of his team-best 15 points in the first half for ninth-ranked Baylor (12-1), and power forward Rico Gathers didn't score before halftime but finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Power forward Cory Jefferson added 13 points and seven rebounds, while center Isaiah Austin contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Bears' superiority up front led to higher-percentage shots and a 52.9 percent shooting night, while their length defensively deterred the Tigers from taking the ball inside. Savannah State shot 33.3 percent from the floor and settled for 23 3-point attempts, making only six.

The Tigers also were unable to get to the free-throw line with any consistency. In fact, their first trip to the line came with 6:52 left in the game, and Baylor outscored them from the charity stripe 19-2.

Gathers scored most of his points during a second-half flurry. He tallied baskets on a dunk and a pair of putbacks, including one that resulted in a 3-point play, and a pair of free throws to help the Bears to an 11-2 run that made it a 66-42 cushion with 8:14 to go.

Savannah State guard Joshua Montgomery was held without a field goal in the second half, but still managed a team-best 15 points. Nobody else scored more than seven points for the Tigers, and Jyles Smith grabbed nine rebounds to lead Savannah State.

Prince scored 12 points off the bench in the first half, and Baylor shot a torrid 71.4 percent from the floor to take a 46-28 lead into intermission.

The Bears, who were 6-for-7 from 3-point range, also picked up nine points apiece from Austin and Jefferson.

Savannah State stayed in the game early, thanks in large part to the shooting of Montgomery. The senior entered the game averaging 8.7 points per game, but he drained his first four 3-point attempts and led the Tigers with 14 points.

His third trey cut the Tigers' deficit to 23-17, but Baylor immediately responded with a 9-0 run that included three free throws from guard Brady Heslip after he was fouled on a 3-point try and a dunk from Austin to help push the lead out to 15.

The Bears stretched that to 40-21 after guard Kenny Chery hit an off-balance shot for 3, and Jefferson stepped outside for his second 3-pointer as they kept the margin between 16 and 19 the rest of the half.

Baylor's ball movement produced 12 assists on its 15 made free throws in the first half, and it also limited the Tigers to 31 percent shooting while committing only three team fouls.

NOTES: This is the last non-conference game for both teams. Savannah State begins MEAC competition by hosting Maryland-Eastern Shore on Monday, while Baylor will travel to meet Iowa State the next day. ... Savannah State did not shoot a free throw in the first half. ... F Taurean Prince led Baylor in scoring in the first half for the second consecutive game, despite coming off the bench in both contests.

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