Dunn, Udoh lead No. 22 Baylor over Texas Tech
WACO, Texas (AP)—Once LaceDarius Dunn finally started scoring, No. 22 Baylor had no problem reaching its third consecutive 20-win season.
Dunn finished with 30 points after being held scoreless the first 14 1/2 minutes of the game, not getting on the board until two go-ahead free throws, and the Bears went on to an 88-70 victory over Texas Tech on Tuesday night.
“It was a little chilly in the gym. I was a little stiff, so I was just trying to get loose,” Dunn said. “I knew it was going to come, though. I was just taking my time out there and taking what they were giving me.”
Not until getting fouled on a drive in the lane with 5:24 left in the first half did Dunn score, hitting two free throws that made it 25-24 and started a run of eight consecutive points by the junior guard. That also ignited a game-turning 39-16 run in which Dunn scored 22 points.
Baylor (20-5, 7-4 Big 12), which has won five of its last six games, has only six 20-win seasons since the program began 104 years ago. Before the current streak of three in a row, the Bears had won more than 20 games only once since doing so twice in the mid-1940s.
“We are very excited about that accomplishment,” coach Scott Drew said. “When you get three straight it shows a consistent program.”
Ekpe Udoh had 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocks, his 12th double-double of the season and just shy of his second triple-double.
“I wanted it bad, but when everybody found out I had nine blocks, we stopped playing aggressive defense,” Udoh said.
Tweety Carter had 12 points and 11 assists for Baylor, which shot 54 percent from the field (33 of 61). It was the second 30-point game this season for Dunn.
When the Bears cleared the bench in the closing minutes, Udoh was left in the game for the chance to get another block. He certainly wasn’t needed for a game-winning shot like he had in each of the past two games, but extended his season school record block total to 109.
“That’s a difference-maker when you’ve got a kid like that in the middle who can change shots like that and block shots,” Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said. “We did a really bad job just driving in there thinking we were going to put one up over him, because you just can’t do that.”
David Tairu had 16 points for Texas Tech (16-9, 4-7). John Roberson had 12 points before leaving the game with 9 minutes remaining after running into a television cameraman.
“He’s having problems with his ribs and breathing, so we won’t know (his status) for a couple days probably,” Knight said.
Right after his initial free throws, Dunn had a steal and was fouled again, hitting two more free throws.
After A.J. Walton had a steal to start a 2-on-1 break, he drove to the basket and then dumped a pass over his left shoulder to Dunn trailing for a two-handed slam dunk and a 29-24 lead.
Udoh didn’t even score until making a short jumper off an inbounds pass from Carter with 18 minutes left that made it 46-33.
Carter then stole the inbounds pass, though his wild pass to keep the ball from going out of bounds was grabbed by Roberson. But Dunn quickly stole the ball and had a breakaway slam.
After Tech called a timeout and Roberson missed a shot, Dunn made a 3-pointer.
“It was just brutal,” Knight said, describing the start of the second half. “I just thought we got casual, quit playing defense, got careless. I thought we kind of gave up. … They jumped on us and just buried us.”
Dunn’s basket with 12:49 left made it 60-40, then Udoh had a steal that led to a dunk by Anthony Jones that capped that big run.
Roberson got hurt after missing a layup, then slamming hard into a cameraman seated under the basket. Trainers tended to Roberson on the court for several minutes, and he walked to the bench with assistance and in obvious pain.
New Baylor president Kenneth Starr was introduced to the crowd by football coach Art Briles during the first timeout of the game. Starr got a standing ovation, then revealed a “Bear Pit” jersey and led the student section in a “Sic Em’ Bears” chant.