WACO, Texas (AP) — Southern University was coming off a loss at No. 1 Arizona, and had already played two other ranked teams before getting to No. 12 Baylor.
Isaiah Austin had 14 points to lead five Bears scoring in double figures in an 81-65 victory Sunday, after the Jaguars held their other three Top 25 opponents in the 60s.
"They are probably just as good as some of the Top 20 teams that we've played. I think any given night, they can step on the floor and win," Southern coach Roman Banks said. "Those three bigs that they rotate keep the pressure on you. If you can't match that length and intensity, it's pretty hard on you."
Austin had 10 rebounds, the first double-double this season for the 7-foot-1 center. Brady Heslip had 13 points, while big men Cory Jefferson and Rico Gathers both had 12, and Kenny Chery 10.
"They've got a couple of guys that can really shoot the basketball," Banks said. "Probably on the wing, some of the other teams that we played go probably 6-6 or 6-8. But other than that, with the length on the inside, they probably have three better 5 or 4 men that we've played."
The Jaguars, who made it to the NCAA tournament last season as the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament champions, lost 69-43 at Arizona on Thursday night. The Jaguars opened the season with a loss at then-No. 17 Marquette and also lost at No. 16 Florida.
Tre Lynch had 27 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead Southern (3-9), which shot only 34 percent from the field (18 of 53) and was outrebounded 39-27.
YonDarius Johnson and Calvin Godfrey entered the game as Southern's top scorers, the seniors averaging 12.6 and 12.4 points per game, respectively. Johnson scored two points in his 19 minutes while Godfrey was scoreless, going 0 for 4 in 20 minutes while dealing with foul trouble throughout the game.
"We played a team that pays close attention to detail and knows that those guys are shooters. They didn't give them any space and challenged those guys," Banks said. "The teams that we've been playing, if they're not coming off screens, they're going to have to do some other things. Rebound, get offense, get themselves in a rhythm. Tonight, they weren't able to do that. That's going to help us down the line because I don't know if we'll be guarded like that all the time."
Baylor had a 32-16 lead after an 8-0 run when jumpers by Jefferson 5 minutes apart provided bookends for the spurt, with four free throws in between.
At the same time, Southern went 6:48 between baskets — and points.
Lynch's 3-pointer with 3 minutes left in the first half finally ended the drought by the Jaguars, who then had a 10-1 run to get within 33-26. But they never got closer after Cameron Monroe's layup with 1:18 left.
The Bears had a 10-point halftime lead and that gap was only cut to seven even as they went more than 5 minutes before making a field goal.
Royce O'Neal had a layup for Baylor's first basket after halftime, making it 43-30 with 14:39 left. Austin added a jumper 42 seconds later.
Baylor, the defending NIT champion whose lone loss the past 16 games was to No. 2 Syracuse last month in Hawaii, won't play again until Dec. 30 against Oral Roberts. That is one of two non-conference games left for the Bears before opening Big 12 play Jan. 7 at Iowa State.