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No. 2 Baylor knocks off Alcorn State

WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor coach Scott Drew knows, given a choice, his players would rather be playing games. They won two in 23 hours.

MaCio Teague had 18 points to lead six players scoring in double figures for the Bears in a 105-76 victory Wednesday over Alcorn State, just a day after a 37-point win over Central Arkansas.

“Coming back from break, you’re either practicing or playing,” Drew said. “I know guys would rather play a game than be in practice for two or three hours.”

Preseason AP All-America guard Jared Butler added 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Matthew Mayer had 14 points for the Bears. Davion Mitchell, Jordan Turner and Zach Loveday each scored 10.

Baylor (8-0), the only Big 12 team without a loss, returned from its Christmas break with back-to-back midweek afternoon games. They were the last games for the preseason conference favorites before resuming Big 12 play this weekend, with the Alcorn game a late add after some earlier changes to the schedule.

“You schedule two (games) in hopes that you definitely get one in. And we were able to be blessed to play two games, and it allowed us to try some things we use in conference, and be able to do that against people besides ourselves,” Drew said. “We were able to give some guys some playing experience, and all of that stuff bodes well and helps you down the line because you never know when your number’s going to be called.”

Tyree Corbett had 24 points to lead Alcorn State (0-5), while Byron Joshua had 12 and Oddyst Walker 11.

Corbett had six early points, including back-to-back jumpers that tied it at 12 about six minutes in after Teague’s second 3-pointer.

Baylor responded with a 17-2 run in less than five minutes, going ahead 29-14 when Butler had a steal that he converted into a fastbreak layup.

Alcorn State had 14 turnovers in the first half. Baylor turned those into 26 points, only one fewer than the Braves scored overall while going down 59-27 at the break. The Braves had only four turnovers after halftime, when they outscored Baylor 49-46.

“I thought Alcorn did a good job coming in and being excited to play and made some shots. Tried to hold it, and not let the game get too up and down, and credit them and their coach for a good game plan,” Drew said. “I thought our guys did a better job of … settling down and getting stops. And then once we were able to get in a rhythm and a routine, obviously we were able to pull away.”