WACO, Texas (AP) — Royce O’Neale scored 15 points of his career-best 23 points in the opening minutes of the second half to lead No. 22 Baylor to a 92-51 win over Norfolk State on Tuesday night.
Rico Gathers added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (11-1). Taurean Prince and Al Freeman scored 13 each.
Jeff Short had 23 points and D’Shon Taylor scored 11 for Norfolk State (9-6). Rashid Gaston had 10 rebounds and six points.
O’Neale had a 3 to open the second-half scoring, and then with Baylor holding a 40-29 lead, he took over. After a dunk by Gathers and one free throw by Johnathan Motley, O’Neale hit 3s on Baylor’s next four possessions. After Lester Medford converted a 3-point play, the Bears led 55-29 with 14:41 left in the game and the game was effectively over.
O’Neale scored five consecutive points as Baylor took an early 12-8 lead. From there, Norfolk went on an 11-2 run — spurred by 3s from Taylor and Short — and took a 19-14 lead with 11:31 to play, prompting Baylor coach Scott Drew to call a timeout.
On the Bears’ next possession, Motley was called for an offensive foul as he was starting a short drive to the basket. After that, however, Baylor went on an 11-2 run of its own to take the lead back, 25-21, at the 5:50 mark. O’Neale hit a 3 and Prince converted a three-point play during the stint.
Prince hit a 3 in front of the Norfolk bench at the buzzer to give Baylor a 32-27 halftime lead.
Baylor: Baylor and Virginia are the only two teams in the country to hold all of their opponents to 66 or fewer points.
Norfolk State: The Spartans are coming off three consecutive wins: 88-49 over Virginia-Wise; 81-62 over Northern Arizona; and a 74-71 overtime decision at James Madison. James Short scored 30 in the win over James Madison.
Norfolk State plays at Georgia on Saturday.
Baylor opens Big 12 play Saturday at Oklahoma.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.