Created: 11/08/2013 10:35 PM
(AP) DALLAS - Kenny Chery scored 14 points, Cory Jefferson had 13 points and 11 rebounds and No. 25 Baylor beat cold-shooting Colorado 72-60 in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The final game of a season-opening tripleheader at the downtown Dallas home of the NBA’s Mavericks featured last year’s NIT champion in Baylor and a Colorado team coming off the school’s first back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament in 50 years.
Brad Heslip had 12 points, all on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, including one with a defender in his face that gave the Bears their biggest lead at 56-43 with 8:38 remaining.
Josh Scott had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who shot 33 percent and went 2 of 19 from 3-point range.
Taurean Prince had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Bears.
Baylor’s heralded frontcourt duo of Isaiah Austin and Jefferson helped the Bears pull away after a slow start. Jefferson missed a wide-open, two-handed dunk after an offensive rebound, and Scott hit a layup to pull Colorado to 64-58 with 2:19 remaining.
Jefferson missed again on a jump hook in the lane, but Askia Booker couldn’t hit a jumper on the other end. The Bears pushed the lead back to eight when Jefferson drove the lane and passed to Austin for a short bank shot from the left side of the lane with 47 seconds left.
Austin finished with five points and four rebounds.
The Buffs missed their first 12 shots from 3-point range before Spencer Dinwiddie finally hit one to cut Baylor’s lead to 44-38. But Royce O’Neale scored inside at the other end for the Bears, and Prince hit a shot in the lane after another Colorado miss from long range to push the Bears’ lead back to double digits.
The first point of the game didn’t come until the 17:23 mark of the first half on a free throw by Austin. The Buffs missed their first four shots _ three from beyond the arc _ and the Bears started 0 for 5 with a pair of misses from in close.
The first basket came on a three-point play by O’Neale that put Baylor up 4-0, and Wesley Gordon got Colorado’s first field goal on a short jumper at the other end.
Colorado shot 21 percent in the first half, yet trailed by just two points before an 11-3 Baylor run to finish the half gave the Bears a 30-20 lead.
Chery hit a couple of jumpers and Heslip had a long 3-pointer. After a bucket from Prince, Austin made a hook shot to put the Bears up 10.
Baylor had the 10-point halftime lead despite not having anyone with more than six points.
Dinwiddie, Colorado’s leading returning scorer, missed all four of his shots in the first half and had two points. The Buffs were 0 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half.