WACO, Texas - Baylor men's and women's basketball teams kicked off the 2012-13 season by hosting Moonlight Madness on Friday night at the Ferrell Center.
More than 6,500 fans packed the stands to watch 3-point and slam dunk contests and an eight-minute men's team scrimmage. Baylor was one of 14 sites featured during more than four hours of ESPNU national coverage, and the Ferrell Center was the only site to feature both men's and women's teams.
"It was a great turnout, great energy level, and I think the fans got an entertaining evening," head coach Scott Drew said. "It was great especially for the freshmen to get a chance to play in front of the crowd, and then for the crowd to get a chance to see the new guys. After all the summer workouts and the individual workouts, it's good to remind them that this is why they're working hard."
The slam dunk contest was judged by former Bears Fred Ellis, Mamadou Diene and Shanay Washington, as well as SGT Martin Montoya, a member of the Army's 96th Transportation Company who was wounded in Afghanistan. The Baylor men's team met Montoya during his unit's welcome home ceremony when the team visited Fort Hood on Sept. 23.
Deuce Bello earned perfect 10s from all four judges after jumping over 7-foot-1 freshman Isaiah Austin in the opening round, but he lost to Cory Jefferson in the final round. Jefferson threw a ball behind his back off the backboard, then caught the ball and threw it down with one hand. Griner and Pierre Jackson also competed in the slam dunk contest.
"It actually made me nervous," Drew said of Bello's dunk. "Anytime you can dunk over a 7-1 guy it's pretty impressive."
Bello also did a back flip when he was introduced with his teammates at the start of the event. The women's team introductions had a Mardi Gras theme to match the location of this year's women's Final Four - New Orleans.
The black team won the scrimmage, 23-21, as Brady Heslip drained three consecutive 3-pointers to rally his team from an early 11-2 deficit.
Heslip and Sims combined to participate in a contest to offer reduced season ticket prices next week. Heslip scored 21 points and Sims chipped in 18, bringing the total to $39 off regular Super Fan season ticket prices. The promotion will run from Monday at 10 a.m. through Friday at 5 p.m., and fans can visit the Baylor Athletics facebook page during that time for information on how to receive the discount. Men's tickets will be on sale for $111 and women's will be reduced to $86.
Baylor's men's team opens the 2012-13 season with an exhibition game against Abilene Christian at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25, and the women's team's first game is against Oklahoma City at 7 p.m. on Oct. 30.