Although the home of former Southwest Conference rival SMU, the new Moody Coliseum treated Baylor well during the College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships on Thursday night.
Baylor senior guard Brady Heslip slipped into the finals of the men’s 3-point contest and took the crown with a final-round score of 18, topping Oakland’s Travis Bader.
Heslip was bested in both of the opening rounds by Bader, who led with point totals of 23 and 22.
Heslip, sporting the short sleeved “Sic ’Em Bears” uniform, pushed into the finals with 19 points, hitting 4 of 5 on the final rack that ended with a buzzer-beating splash of the money ball.
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Heslip caught fire when it mattered most, hitting 9 of his last 10, including a 5 for 5 final rack in the final round. Bader finished with 14.
Baylor senior guard and Irving MacArthur alumnus Odyssey Sims put up a show of her own in the women’s competition, leading the first round with 20 points after a perfect second rack.
Sims’ second-round score of 15, however, trailed Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel, with 22 and Duke’s Tricia Liston, with 24.
Schimmel won with a final-round score of 22.
Baylor had the trifecta of skill contest representation. Senior forward Cory Jefferson finished second in the dunk contest, which was judged by former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten and former Dallas Star Mike Modano.
Jefferson threw down a one-handed, 180 tomahawk dunk on his second attempt, earning a score of 37.5.
In his second dunk, Jefferson took a pass from Heslip from above the first level at Moody Coliseum and connected on the dunk on his first try. The judges gave him a 40.
Eastern Kentucky’s Marcus Lewis won the contest.
The moment of the night came thanks to Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and his 8-year-old friend Lacey Holsworth, who is fighting cancer.
Payne handed the ball to Holsworth, who gave it a kiss before Payne threw down a 360, two-handed slam in which the ball touched his toes before reaching back up to place it over the rim.
After the completion of the dunk, Payne rolled the ball into the entire field of 3-point shooters and dunkers, who all fell like bowling pins in choreographed fashion.