Men's Basketball: Top-Ranked Baylor Uses Three-Ball To Beat Cajuns in Opener + game photo gallery
Special to the Advertiser, Nov. 29, 2020
LAS VEGAS – Cedric Russell scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half while newcomer Theo Akwuba scored a career-high 22 points in his Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns debut, but No. 1-ranked Baylor capitalized on 15 3-pointers and steady defense to claim a 112-82 win in the #VegasBubble on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
MaCio Teague scored 21 points to lead five players in double figures while Davion Mitchell added 18 as Baylor (1-0) made 15 of 27 attempts from behind the 3-point line in claiming its season-opener. Brayan Au scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half for Louisiana (0-1), which was facing a top-ranked team for the first time in school history.
Louisiana opened the game with Mylik Wilson scoring the first four points before Baylor (No. 1 Coaches Poll, No. 2 Associated Press) used a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed 21-16 at the 10:04 mark before Russell and Akwuba each sank a pair of free throws after a technical foul on Baylor’s Mark Vital.
Both teams traded buckets before a dunk by Baylor’s Matthew Mayer started a 15-0 run over the next 4:52 that pushed the Bears’ lead to 38-22.
Preseason All-American and Reserve native Jared Butler scored 17 points with three 3-pointers for Baylor, which finished 45-for-80 from the floor and held a 41-29 advantage on the glass. Freshman LJ Cryer scored 17 points off the bench for the Bears with Adam Flagler adding 12.
Akwuba went 9-for-9 from the floor for Louisiana, including burying a second-half 3-pointer on his first-ever attempt. The 6-foot-11 transfer pulled down eight rebounds and blocked a pair of shots in his Ragin’ Cajuns debut.
Russell finished 10-for-17 from the field in recording his 10th career 20-point game for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Wilson adding eight points and two steals with Dou Gueye chipping in with six points and a team-high three assists.
Louisiana shot 53 percent from the floor against the Bears converting on 32 of 61 attempts from the floor while going 12-for-16 from the free throw line. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 6-for-19 from the behind the 3-point line after opening the game 2-for-10 in the first 20 minutes.
Louisiana is scheduled to return to action on Wednesday when it travels to face New Orleans in a 7 p.m. contest at Lakefront Arena before tentatively opening its 2020-21 home schedule on Tuesday, Dec. 8 against LSU Alexandria.