Austin, Jackson lead Baylor past Lamar 85-68
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor center Isaiah Austin had been hampered by a gimpy right ankle for most of the season. On Wednesday night, the prized 7-foot-1 freshman was finally healthy and showed why he was one of the top recruits in the nation.
Austin had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Baylor pulled away in the second half to beat Lamar 85-68.
Powered by Austin's performance on the boards, the Bears had 17 offensive rebounds, which they turned into 21 second-chance points.
Austin had 22 points in 17 minutes before spraining his ankle in Baylor's season opener. Baylor coach Scott Drew said the injury had limited Austin's play before Wednesday.
"He had that explosive step," Drew said. "He's more healthy than he's been all year long."
Austin finished with six offensive rebounds, including a put-back in the middle of a 13-2 second-half run that put the game away. He finished 11 of 19 from the floor.
"I was getting more lift," said Austin, who had season highs in points and rebounds. "I was running as hard as I could to the front of the rim, and I was getting some rebounds."
Pierre Jackson had 21 points and Cory Jefferson added 10 for Baylor (6-3), which snapped a two-game home losing streak.
Lamar (1-9) lost its fifth in a row. Amos Wilson scored 21 points and Rhon Mitchell had 19 for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals, who played Tuesday night at Louisiana-Lafayette, had lost their previous four games by an average of 29.5 points. Lamar has not played a home game this season and won't do so until Dec. 29.
Lamar coach Pat Knight said the rare back-to-back road games were the result of a scheduling mix-up. Knight said Wednesday's game was the best the Cardinals had played all season.
"They just competed," Knight said. "When you're a small school, you want guys to play hard and be competitive. We just haven't been that, except for one game. So it was good to see that."
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