Freshman Matthew Mayer scored 18 points and graduate transfer Makai Mason had 11 in his Baylor debut as the Bears beat Nicholls State 81-54 on Friday.

Mark Vital had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for Baylor (3-1), which has won three in a row since being upset by SWAC team Texas Southern in its season opener. King McClure also had 11 points and Tristan Clark scored 10 on 5-of-7 shooting.

Jeremiah Jefferson had 13 points for Nicholls (2-3), which shot only 33 percent (18 of 55) from the field.

Nicholls State guard Kevin Johnson, right, reaches in on Baylor guard Mark Vital, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
Nicholls State guard Kevin Johnson, right, reaches in on Baylor guard Mark Vital, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Baylor never trailed after Mason’s 3-pointer made it 11-9 about 6 1/2 minutes into the game. Mayer and Mason both made three 3-pointers.

Mason, the first grad transfer to play for the Bears, missed the first three games because of a sprained right ankle. The 6-foot-1 guard played only one game over the last two seasons at Yale because of left foot issues after scoring 31 points for the Bulldogs in their 79-75 win over Baylor in the 2016 NCAA Tournament opener.

Nicholls State center Daniel Regis, right, fouls Baylor guard Mark Vital during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
Nicholls State center Daniel Regis, right, fouls Baylor guard Mark Vital during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

The Bears had a 20-0 run early through the second half when seven different players scored to push the lead to 38 points. The spurt began on a 3-pointer by Devonte Bandoo, who had a steal that he turned into slam dunk.

BIG PICTURE

Nicholls State forward Brandon Moore Jr., left, drives past Baylor guard Devonte Bandoo during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
Nicholls State forward Brandon Moore Jr., left, drives past Baylor guard Devonte Bandoo during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Nicholls St.: The Colonels, like Baylor, had only three returning players this season. They also have a first-year head coach in 28-year-old Austin Claunch, an assistant the past two seasons before becoming the youngest Division I head coach. They were unable to build on the momentum of an 83-80 win at Idaho when their two graduate transfers Jefferson and Gavin Peppers each had 20-point games. Peppers had only two late free throws against Baylor and was 0-of-8 shooting in 28 minutes.

Baylor: Still without 6-7 sophomore Mario Kegler, the transfer from Mississippi state who has two games left to serve on his six-game suspension for violating team rules. But the Bears are starting to come together with their changed roster. They wrapped up a season-opening, four-game homestand.

Baylor guard Mark Vital, right, reaches for a loose rebound against Nicholls State guard Gavin Peppers during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
Baylor guard Mark Vital, right, reaches for a loose rebound against Nicholls State guard Gavin Peppers during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

UP NEXT

Nicholls State is at Ole Miss on Tuesday night before playing North Carolina Central in Niceville, Florida, next Friday.

Nicholls State center Daniel Regis, left, looks to the basket while driving on Baylor guard Mark Vital during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
Nicholls State center Daniel Regis, left, looks to the basket while driving on Baylor guard Mark Vital during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Baylor has a bit of a break before playing Ole Miss in Niceville next Friday night as part of the Emerald Coast Classic.

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Source: The Associated Press

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