Dunn’s surge leads Baylor over Texas Tech

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WACO, Texas (AP)—Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn got knocked to the floor, his 3-point shot fluttering out of bounds when the whistle finally blew.

Except Dunn wasn’t going to the free-throw line. Instead of a foul, officials ruled that Dunn’s shot had been deflected out of bounds by Texas Tech’s D’walyn Roberts. So Dunn found another way to extend his scoring streak.

Dunn quickly got the ball back, penetrated between two defenders and hit a short jumper. Then he made a 3-pointer on the next possession, capping his run of 11 consecutive points that pushed the No. 23 Bears ahead to stay in a 73-61 victory Saturday over the Red Raiders in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

“For a stretch, Lace just got hot, so we just gave him the ball,” Curtis Jerrells said.

The Bears (13-2) never trailed after Dunn started his scoring spurt with consecutive 3-pointers, one from the left corner with 12:18 left and another from the right wing just more than a minute later after a Texas Tech free throw had tied the game at 45. Dunn finished with five 3-pointers and 20 points.

“Lace does a great job staying focused, doesn’t get rattled,” coach Scott Drew said.

Dunn looked hopelessly at the referee for the foul call that never came. But when play resumed, he was ready to score again.

“They were giving me the ball and I was just taking advantage of it,” Dunn said. “The hardest thing is trying not to get too pumped up. I was just trying to keep my composure and not let other players get to me.”

It was another big bounce-back game for Dunn against the Red Raiders (10-6), coming eight days after he had only one field goal and a season-low nine points in the Bears’ one-point home loss to South Carolina. Last season, Dunn followed a five-point game by scoring a career-best 38 against Texas Tech.

“He’s just good,” Red Raiders coach Pat Knight said. “We were deciding before the game if we should stick on somebody or not, but the problem with them, they’ve got three or four lethal guys out there at a time. So it’s not a typical scout where you can just stay on a guy.”

Dunn led five players scoring in double figures for Baylor, which opened conference play as a Top 25 team for the first time in school history. Kevin Rogers had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Jerrells had 13 points, Tweety Carter 11 and Henry Dugat 10.

Alan Voskuil had 14 points for Texas Tech, which jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than 2 minutes into the game before Drew called timeout.

The combination of Jerrells and Dugat produced two quick baskets with the first of Tech’s 23 turnovers coming in between. Dugat penetrated for a basket after getting a pass from Jerrells, who then had a layup on a pass from Dugat.

But Baylor didn’t go ahead until Rogers’ inside basket made it 17-15 with 10:50 left in the first half. That was part of a 12-0 run in which Dunn had two 3-pointers and put Baylor in front until the second half.

“Experience definitely helps. You don’t get rattled as easily,” Drew said. “It’s easier to overcome adversity when you’ve been through adversity. When we go into games, we won’t sneak up on people. People are going to be excited to play us. We have to be ready.”

Carter briefly lost the handle of the ball, but recovered and got it to Dunn at the top of the key to tie the game at 15. That duo worked again a couple of minutes later for another 3-pointer that made it 20-15.

Nick Okorie’s 3-pointer punctuated a 11-6 spurt to start the second half that put Tech up 40-39 with 14:45 left. But Dunn took over after Voskuil’s jumper that made it 44-42.

Okorie had 13 points for Texas Tech while Roberts and Robert Lewandowski had 10 points each.

“We competed really well for 35 minutes and then we had a couple of just bad mistakes,” Knight said. “If we can sustain that effort and keep on going, I’ll be pleased, but the outcome is not what you want.”

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Texas Tech
Nick Okorie Nick Okorie
6-11,  13 Pts
6 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Baylor
Kevin Rogers Kevin Rogers
5-9,  14 Pts
14 Rebs, 2 Assists

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Saturday, Jan 10