<
>

Freeman scores 16 points; Baylor beats Oral Roberts 76-61

WACO, Texas -- Al Freeman scored 16 points and Baylor cruised to a 76-61 victory over Oral Roberts on Friday night.

Freeman was 6 of 9 from the floor and made three 3-pointers. Manu Lecomte, who sat out last year after transferring from Miami, added 13 points and 10 assists without a turnover.

"It's a great feeling. I was a little nervous before the game," Lecomte said. "Obviously, I haven't played in a year and a half, so I was a little nervous.

Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., who missed last season due to a heart condition, added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bears.

The Bears shot 55.6 percent in the first half and took a 38-31 lead into intermission before pulling away midway through the second half. Their 10 3-pointers helped offset a 38-22 edge in the paint for Oral Roberts.

"I thought last year defensively, we struggled at the 3-point line," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "And I thought we shared the ball well. Anytime you have 10 assists, zero turnovers from the point guard play, that's hard to beat. Very impressive performance from Manu."

Emmanuel Nzekwesi scored 15 points to lead the Golden Eagles, who didn't have another player reach double figures.

"I give Baylor a lot of credit especially on the defensive end," Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton said. "They held two of our best players to 6-for-26 shooting, and you're not going to beat any good team on the road when Albert (Owens) and Jalen (Bradley) shoot like that.

Bradley scored nine points and Owens added eight. "I think Baylor's defense had a lot to do with that," said Sutton. "Those two guys are going to have great years. It's just one of those nights when the ball didn't go in."

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: Baylor struggled with its inside game, but that figures to improve with the return of Johnathan Motley, who served a one-game suspension after violating an NCAA rule by playing in an improper summer league game.

Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles hoped their experienced team could make an early statement after a 14-17 mark last season. Their chances were hurt by Albert Owens, their returning leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker, shooting 3 of 14 from the floor.

UP NEXT

Baylor has a chance to make an early statement Tuesday, when it welcomes No. 5 Oregon to the Ferrell Center. The Bears didn't receive a vote in any preseason poll for the first time since 2009 despite winning 20 or more for the fifth straight season.

Oral Roberts gets its home opener Monday against Rogers State before traveling to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam. The Eagles open against Ole Miss on Friday.

NCAAM News