Feb. 27, 2012
WACO, Texas (AP) - Quincy Acy, Fred Ellis and Anthony Jones have been to an NCAA regional final and an NIT championship game at Baylor. They hope they're not done.
After being recognized before the home finale Monday night as the winningest senior class in school history, they easily got their 95th victory when the Bears (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) beat Texas Tech, 77-48.
"My feelings were mixed," Acy said. "It was emotional playing my last game in the Ferrell Center. But we have a long way to go in the season."
Jones then added, "It makes me want five more to get to 100. ... Why stop at five?"
Perry Jones III, the sophomore who is not related to Anthony, had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears (25-5, 12-5 Big 12). A.J. Walton scored a season-high 13 points, while Anthony Jones also had 13 and Acy 12.
Walton matched his season high with 10 points before halftime, when the Bears were already in total control.
Baylor closed the first half on a 25-4 run over the final 10:05, stretching its lead to 40-15.
Texas Tech (8-21, 1-16) didn't even have 20 points in the game until Jordan Tolbert's dunk with 14:33 left made it 49-21. Tolbert finished with 19 points.
"Tough night for us, obviously," coach Billy Gillispie said. "Especially thought we competed hard at the start, but we couldn't make any plays. Couldn't finish at the basket, couldn't get to the foul line, couldn't make open shots. And then they got a great deal of confidence, and it just kind of steamrolled against us."
Baylor never trailed after taking an 8-0 lead, though that was more than five minutes into the game. All three seniors started their final home game.
Acy had two big dunks just before coming out of the game to a huge ovation with about two minutes left. Right after that, Jones hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Even the little-used Ellis, who hadn't scored a point since Dec. 19, made two free throws.
"Great senior night," coach Scott Drew said. "I couldn't be more proud of how our seniors were able to play their last game and go out."
While the three seniors have played their last home game, they already have a school-record 12 Big 12 victories with the regular-season finale still to play Saturday at Iowa State. After that, there is the conference tournament next week and then another NCAA tournament.
During their freshman season, the Bears made it to the Big 12 tournament championship game and were the NIT runner-up in 2008. A year later, they were part of the school-record 28 wins as Baylor advanced to an NCAA regional final against eventual national champion Duke.
The regular-season finale is a game to determine seeding in the Big 12 tournament.
The Bears and Iowa State began Monday night tied for third place in the Big 12. Iowa State (21-8, 11-5) plays at second-place Missouri (25-4, 12-4) on Wednesday night.
Walton had a step-back jumper, the shot falling through the hoop about the same time he was backpedaling and falling with about three minutes left in the first half. After a Texas Tech turnover, he added a jumper that gave him 10 points and the Bears a 35-13 lead.
Pierre Jackson then had consecutive assists for inside-out baskets by Anthony Jones.
Jackson penetrated inside and was in the air when he slipped a pass to Jones for a layup. On the next possession, Jackson passed to Jones in the left corner for a 3-pointer that made it 40-13.
The second half didn't start any better for the Red Raiders. Javarez Willis had a quick turnover and Brady Heslip hit a 3-pointer from the left corner in front of his teammates on the Baylor bench.
With about nine minutes left and Baylor up 60-31, the crowd began chanting "We want Fred! We want Fred!" As the crowd got louder, Drew looked down the bench with a big smile on his face and put Ellis in the game. Ellis made his free throws with 6:35 left.
"I was trying to get them to chant it earlier," Ellis said, smiling. "It just felt good, the fans just chanting your name. When I get old, I'll tell my kids, 'I had 40 points and the fans were chanting my name and I had six dunks. Everybody screaming my name.'"
Anthony Jones made a free throw in the opening minute and added a 17-foot jumper for a 3-0 lead. Perry Jones III had a steal and passed ahead for a breakaway layup by Acy, who with 14:42 left made another tough shot inside and came down hard after being fouled. Walton came on to make the free throw.
"For senior night, if you have a close team, everybody feels the pressure," Drew said. "They really want to do well for the seniors. You saw that tonight."