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Bears rip up Grambling State Tigers

Nov. 30, 2006

20061130_bball
Melea Burke/Lariat staff
Sophomore guard Carl Sims weaves between two Grambling State University defenders Wednesday on the Bears' way to a 95-69 win over the Tigers.
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By DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD
Sports editor

Behind stellar first-half shooting, a solid second-half performance and a career night for freshman guard Tweety Carter, the Baylor basketball team coasted to a 95-69 victory over Grambling State University to improve its record to 5-1.

Carter set career highs with 19 points and five assists in the win.

"A lot of doors were open for me tonight and I just took advantage of it," Carter said.

But Carter was just one of many Bears whose shots were falling Wednesday. The Bears rushed out to a 14-5 lead in the first five minutes and didn't look back.

The Bears took advantage of every open look in the first half, hitting 12 or their 16 attempts from 3-point range. At one point, the Bears hit seven straight 3-pointers in a six-minute span to stretch its lead to 32-14.

"When we're on the line, get open looks and get good ball movement, all of our guys can knock down the 3," junior guard Aaron Bruce said. "We just got open looks and that's how we need to play; we need to find the extra man because we have a lot of threats out there."

Bruce, who scored 17 second-half points Monday against Alcorn State University, led the charge in the first half against the Tigers.

He scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half and hit three of his four 3-point attempts. Sophomore guard Curtis Jerrells also had a big first half, hitting all four of his 3-point attempts and scoring 12 of his 17 points in the first half.

But after a first half that saw the Bears shoot 73 percent from the field and 75 percent from long range, the Bears shot 42 percent in the second, hitting just one of their eight 3-point attempts.

But with the poor outside shooting, the Bears' scoring moved inside, where they scored 24 of their 40 second-half points in the paint and got to the free throw line 19 times.

Head Coach Scott Drew said he was happy with the way his team adjusted in the second half.

"I was very proud of our guys because we're one for eight in the second half, but we did a great job recognizing that we weren't hitting the 3," he said.

"Instead of shooting another 16 of them, we started taking the ball to the basket."

While Baylor guards accounted for 61 of the Bears' points, Baylor got a solid performance out of its post players as well.

Sophomore forward Kevin Rogers and sophomore center Mamadou Diene each scored 9, while freshman center Josh Lomers pitched in with 6 points.

Rogers also had a career-high 11 rebounds, including one that led to a put-back dunk that brought a crowd of almost 5,000 to its feet.

"The good thing this year is when you come to the Ferrell Center and watch the Baylor Bears play, we do have some explosiveness on offense," Drew said.

The Bears return to action at 3 p.m. Saturday when they play Texas State University at the Ferrell Special Events Center.