No. 12 Baylor powers past Texas Southern, 77-57

No. 34 redshirt sophomore forward Cory Jefferson slams it home against Abilene Christian on Nov. 1 at the Ferrell Center. The Bears won 81-54 in their first and only exhibition game of 2011. Matthew McCarroll | Lariat Photographer

By Stephen Hawkins
Associated Press Basketball Writer

WACO — Quincy Miller had 17 points in his Baylor debut and the 12th-ranked Bears opened their season with a 77-57 victory over Texas Southern on Friday night.

Miller, a 6-foot-9 freshman power forward from Chicago, hit two 3-pointers when Baylor scored 11 points in less than a minute midway through the second half to put the game out of reach.

Returning starters Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones had 11 points each while Cory Jefferson had 10 points for Baylor.

Omar Strong led Texas Southern with 14 points. He was only 4 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 13 on 3-pointers.

Miller had 12 points after halftime, when the Bears built on a 37-30 lead.

Baylor is 40-0 against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, with 21 of those wins coming during Scott Drew’s nine seasons.

The Bears, who missed the postseason last season with an 18-13 record, are getting games in a hurry. They play Sunday at home against Jackson State, another SWAC school, before a Tuesday afternoon game against San Diego State that is part of an ESPN marathon.

Miller started the 11-0 spurt for Baylor with a 3-pointer at the 9:05 mark. Pierre Jackson had a layup before Miller hit another 3 then Cory Jefferson had a layup while being fouled and made the free throw, making it 65-42 with 8:13 left.

The Bears played without sophomore standout Perry Jones, the Big 12 preseason player of the year.

Jones, a 6-11 forward, has five games left in an NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits before he got to Baylor. He had to sit out Baylor’s Big 12 tournament game last March. He had long been expected to become Baylor’s first one-and-done player, but the potential NBA lottery draft pick instead decided to stay in school.

Jones sat near the end of the Baylor bench in jeans and a collared shirt. He will be eligible to play Nov. 29 against Prairie View, another SWAC school.

Baylor played its first game without Big 12 career scoring leader LaceDarius Dunn, who was a senior last season.

Jackson, a top junior college player last season, had six points in a 16-6 run that put Baylor up 37-26 with 2:11 left in the first half.

That came after Texas Southern was within 21-20 on a 3-pointer by Madarious Gibbs.

The Tigers were in foul trouble early, with 6-11 Timothy Price — their tallest player — picking up three fouls less than 2 minutes into the game. Baylor was already in the bonus less than 3 minutes in and in the double bonus with 14 minutes left in the first half. Price didn’t have a shot or a rebound, fouling out while playing only 3 minutes.