Bethune-Cookman (3-6) at (6) Baylor (7-0)
Wednesday, December 14th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ferrell Center (10,284) -- Waco, Texas. Television: FSN- SW. Home Record: Bethune 3-1, Baylor 6-0. Away Record: Bethune 0-5, Baylor 1-0. Neutral Record: Bethune 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Conference Record: Bethune 1-0, Baylor 0-0. Series Record: Baylor leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The sixth-ranked Baylor Bears have an outstanding opportunity to add yet another victory to their already impressive record as the Bethune Cookman Wildcats visit Waco for a non-conference tilt as part of the Las Vegas Classic.
Bethune-Cookman is 0-5 on the road and 3-6 overall this season. Three of the last four outings have ended in defeat for the Wildcats, who fell to UCF on Saturday by a 53-51 final. They are members of the MEAC and are 1-0 in conference action to date.
All seven of Baylor's victories this season have come by double figures, and the undefeated Bears figure to bring plenty of confidence into tonight's affair. They have posted six of their wins at home and are coming off a 69-41 road romp over Northwestern. The non-conference schedule has been rather soft to date, but the club will face the likes of West Virginia and Mississippi State before Big 12 play begins on January 2nd.
Baylor and Bethune-Cookman met for the first time last season and the Bears dominated that contest by an 83-39 final.
In the two-point loss to UCF last time out, Bethune-Cookman finished with a higher shooting percentage from the field than the Knights, but the Wildcats suffered a 20-3 disadvantage in points from the foul line and a 32-19 rebounding deficit as well. Clearly, those two factors contributed directly to the narrow setback. Kevin Dukes hit 4-of-7 three-pointers en route to 13 points to pace his Wildcats in defeat, and Garrius Holloman added 12 points. The 'Cats are scoring only 61.6 ppg on 39.8 percent shooting from the floor, including 29.2 percent from three-point range. Defensively, the club is limiting foes to 62.4 ppg. The top offensive performer for Bethune-Cookman through nine outings is Anthony Breeze, although he has played in just five of the tilts. Breeze is netting 13.0 ppg to go along with 7.6 rpg.
Baylor shot 60.4 percent from the floor in the victory over Northwestern last time out while limiting the Wildcats to 24.1 percent shooting on their home floor. To dominate a Big Ten opponent on the road to that degree has to be viewed as impressive. The well-balanced Bears got 16 points apiece from Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson in the victory, and Perry Jones III added 12 points. Brady Heslip posted 11 points in the affair. Jones, the team's center, has played just two games thus far but is averaging 19.5 ppg to go along with 6.0 rpg. Quincy Miller provides 13.2 ppg, while Acy adds 12.3 ppg. As for Jackson, he checks in with 11.9 ppg and 4.4 apg. Baylor is posting 78.6 ppg while permitting 56.1 ppg to opponents on 32.9 percent field goal efficiency.
Expect the Bears to dominate Bethune-Cookman from start to finish in yet another blowout for the squad. Baylor may be a dangerous team come March.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 88, Bethune-Cookman 54
12/14 10:38:48 ET