Jan. 22, 2011
WACO, Texas (AP) - Baylor freshman sensation Perry Jones grabbed the pass on a breakaway play, slammed the ball and then celebrated by excitedly pounding his chest.
While Jones might not be around long, he is putting on quite a show while he is in the Big 12.
Jones, projected by some to be the No. 1 overall NBA draft pick this summer if he becomes Baylor's first one-and-done player, scored 24 points -- including two powerful dunks while scoring seven consecutive points after halftime -- and had eight rebounds in the Bears' 76-57 victory Saturday over Oklahoma State.
"I see the real Perry now. The last couple of games, that's the Perry I know," Bears senior guard LaceDarius Dunn said. "That's what we need from him, bring that intensity to the game, dunking the ball, doing all the things...If he keeps playing like that all year, we'll be OK."
Dunn added 16 points, including three 3-pointers in an 11-0 run before halftime for the Bears (13-5, 3-2 Big 12).
Jones already has four 20-point games and is shooting 71 percent (36 of 51) from the field in Baylor's five Big 12 games.
"Perry Jones is a pro, and he played like it," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.
Baylor coach Scott Drew said the 6-foot-11 Jones is making an impressive transition to the college game.
"In the beginning of the year, we'd see spurts in practice, and flashes in practice," Drew said. "But I think now we're looking for him more, he's feeling more confident, he's more aggressive...Now being that aggressive and assertive, that's what we need."
Baylor went ahead to stay by ending the first half with a strange 13-3 run that included a missed 3-pointer that appeared to hit nothing but the floor and was followed by an alley-oop dunk on the same possession.
Baylor was down 24-23 before two free throws by Perry Jones with 2:40 left in the first half started the ending spurt.
Stargell Love took a shot from the top of the key, and the ball -- which didn't appear to be tipped by a defender -- fell to the floor out of bounds without even hitting the backboard. But officials ruled that Baylor maintained possession.
"They said we blocked it. We'll see if we did or not. We'll go check and see. We might have," Ford said, not sounding convinced. "If we didn't, then it was a big play ."
The shot clock wasn't reset, and the Bears beat it with Walton's alley-oop to Anthony Jones for a 29-25 lead with 1:49 left in the first half.
After Quincy Acy drew a charge on Jean-Paul Olukemi, Anthony Jones had a follow-up basket on Dunn's missed 3-pointer and was fouled. During an ensuing timeout, Ford drew a technical foul. Dunn hit one of the two technical free throws before Jones completed his three-point play.
Markel Brown then drove for an Oklahoma State layup, but the Bears ended the half with Perry Jones' three-point play. He was fouled while making a short bank shot and hit the free throw with .2 seconds left for a 36-27 halftime lead.
Brown scored 16 points to lead Oklahoma State (14-5, 2-3), which has lost five in a row in Waco. Darrell Williams added 14 points and Matt Pilgrim 13.
Acy had 14 points and nine rebounds for Baylor, while Anthony Jones had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Bears, who had a 40-19 rebounding advantage.
In his seven-point spurt after halftime, Perry Jones got a pass from A.J. Walton for a one-handed slam right before the shot clock ran out, then stepped back for a short jumper on the next possession. After the Cowboys missed a dunk, Jones got the breakaway alley-oop pass from Walton for a slam while being fouled. Jones hit the free throw for a 46-33 lead just 4 minutes into the second half.
"I know (those plays) get us fired up, when I run the floor as well as I can," Perry Jones said. "Just get to the goal and put on a show, catch the lob, dunk it, beat my chest."
Baylor made 13 of 17 shots after halftime and shot 60 percent (24 of 40) in the game.
In Monday's 20-point loss to second-ranked Kansas that ended Baylor's 15-game home winning streak, Dunn had only one 3-pointer -- and that came in the closing seconds to stretch his school-record streak to 31 games in a row with a long-range basket.
Dunn had all three of his 3-pointers Saturday in an 11-0 run after Baylor made only one field goal in the first 6½ minutes. The Cowboys took their largest lead at 15-7 after Keiton Page hit a 3-pointer.
Dunn then made his first 3-pointer. Acy made a scooping layup before Dunn hit two more 3-pointers -- first tying the game from the left corner, then putting Baylor ahead with one from the right side.