WACO, Texas (AP)Jared Butler scored 30 points with a career-high eight 3-pointers to lead four Baylor players in double figures and the No. 16 Bears opened coach Scott Drew’s 17th season with a 105-61 victory over Central Arkansas on Tuesday.
The hometown Bears scored the first 19 points in the game that began at 11 a.m. – no other college basketball game started earlier on the first day of the season – and played before a crowd filled mostly with elementary school students.
MaCio Teague, a transfer guard from UNC Asheville who had to sit out last season, had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his Baylor debut. Devonte Bandoo scored 15 points and Freddie Gillespie had 14.
Rylan Bergersen, a transfer from BYU, had 17 points in his UCA debut. Eddy Kayouloud added 13 points and top returning scorer Hayden Koval had 12.
Baylor’s preseason All-Big 12 forward, Tristan Clark, scored only three points in his return after missing the second half of last season with a knee injury. Clark had two early fouls and played only five minutes in a scoreless first half. He finished 1-of-3 shooting in 16 minutes overall.
Central Arkansas: The Bears from the Southland Conference got down so much so quick that it took time for them to settle in and just play. They do have some experience, with four starters back from last season’s 14-19 team that won four of its last six games.
Baylor: A good start for Baylor, which had two Division I transfers in its starting lineup that had to sit out last season: point guard Davion Mitchell (Auburn) and Teague (UNC Asheville). Clark will have plenty of time to get back into a groove before conference play starts.
Central Arkansas returns home to Conway, Arkansas, to play crosstown rival Hendrix College on Thursday night. Their campuses are about 2 1/2 miles apart.
Baylor took off after the game to head to Alaska, where the Bears will play Washington at a military base Friday night.
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