Lyons' return leads Missouri past Baylor 89-72 -

Lyons' return leads Missouri past Baylor 89-72

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Leo Lyons got his starting job back and didn't waste the second chance.

Lyons scored a career-best 30 points while hitting his first eight shots in Missouri's 89-72 victory over Baylor on Saturday. He was suspended for one game and a reserve for four others before capitalizing on another chance.

"I knew I had to do something special and just worked as hard as I could," Lyons said. "I just went out there and played my heart out."

DeMarre Carroll had 25 points and nine rebounds and J.T. Tiller added 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-best eight assists. Missouri (18-4, 5-2 Big 12), has a Mizzou Arena-record 15 straight victories, with all but one of them coming this season. The Tigers bounced back three days after a 16-point loss at Kansas State while energized by the first sellout crowd of the season of 15,061.

Kevin Rogers had 18 points for Baylor (15-6, 3-4), which has lost three in a row. The Bears recovered from an early 13-point deficit to take its only lead at the start of the second half, and erased all but one point of an 11-point second-half deficit before again faltering.

"I think we'd like to go back and do the last five minutes over," Bears coach Scott Drew said. "The last five minutes I thought they really executed well and the crowd really gave them a good lift, and we didn't execute like we know how."

Missouri entered the game averaging 90.6 points and a 29.4-point margin of victory at home, including blowouts by 45 over Colorado and 31 over Iowa State in conference play.

Henry Dugat added 14 points, Anthony Jones 13 and Tweety Carter 12 for Baylor, which shot 61.5 percent in the first half and 33.3 percent the rest of the way. Leading scorer Curtis Jerrells, who averages 17.4 points, was held to a season-low five points on 2-for-10 shooting.

Lyons was in street clothes for one game after a minor scrape with the law when he was stopped for driving with his lights off and failing to pay an old traffic ticket. He came off the bench for the next four games as coach Mike Anderson stuck with the Lyons-less lineup until last week's loss to Kansas State.

Lyons, who replaced Keith Ramsey as a starter on Saturday, was 14-for-15 at the free throw line. He had 13 points at the half, equaling his best total from the previous nine games. He surpassed his previous career best of 27 against Oklahoma State last Feb. 26, and scored 20 or more points for the first time since getting 22 against Illinois on Dec. 23.

"Everybody knows he's a great player, he's able to go inside and outside," Rogers said. "He put his team over the top."

It's Missouri's first 30-point effort since Thomas Gardner scored 30 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 10, 2005. Lyons said he had no idea before the game that he would be back in the starting lineup.

"I expected to come off the bench and I was going to bring the same energy, no matter what," Lyons said. "Coming off the bench was sort of like a wake-up call that it's not going to be given to me."

Even after a strong start, Anderson kept on top of Lyons. He pointed out to Lyons, who finished with six rebounds, that he had none at the half.

"I challenged him at the half and I keep challenging him," Anderson said. "You could see it in the last five minutes because Baylor was tired, he was really going up for rebounds. That's the Leo we want to see."

Baylor took its only lead at 40-39 on its first shot of the half, a basket from the by Quincy Acy. The Bears missed their next six shots while Missouri answered with a 13-1 run with five players scoring for a 53-42 lead 4 1/2 minutes into the half.

Rogers' basket capped a 16-2 run that narrowed the gap to 68-67 with 5:32 to play before a 12-1 Missouri run settled it. Carroll scored the last six points in that stretch, four on free throws.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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