WACO, Texas (AP) — LaceDarius Dunn scored a career-high 43 points and set a school record with 10 3-pointers as Baylor broke out of a shooting slump Tuesday and raced past Morgan State, 89-72.
Dunn hit three 3-pointers within 58 seconds during a 19-4 run midway through the second half as the Bears (10-3) broke open a tight game in their final tuneup before beginning Big 12 play Saturday at Texas Tech.
“I think I was due for one of those,” said the senior guard, who came in averaging 21.2 points and ranked No. 2 in the nation with 3.6 3-pointers per game. “I’ve shot bad enough, I’ve played bad enough, and it was time for me to turn it up a notch. Tonight I think I just came out in all-out attack from the tip.”
“He’s a big-time player, a big-time scorer,” Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman said after watching Dunn hit 10 of 18 3-pointers and frustrate all efforts to defend him. “He had a memorable night. I’m just sad that I was a part of it.”
McDonald’s All-American Perry Jones III, held scoreless Sunday in a win over Texas Southern, bounced back with 17 points for Baylor, and Quincy Acy added 11 points and eight rebounds.
DeWayne Jackson, who matched Dunn almost shot for shot down the stretch, had 29 points to lead Morgan State (5-7), while Justin Black added 13 and Aric Brooks 10.
Dunn and his teammates came into the game struggling. The Bears had hit 37 percent from the field in their last three games, including losses to unranked Washington State and Florida State at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. Dunn shot 18-for-55 during that stretch (32 percent), and made only 7 of 32 from the 3-point line.
But Baylor coach Scott Drew wasn’t really worried about his star shooter.
“I think if you’re taking good shots, that’s the key,” Drew said. “And most of his looks have been good. As long as he keeps getting good looks, we know he’s going to make more than not at the end of the day.”
Morgan State, which dropped a 79-63 decision to Baylor in Waco last January, charged out to a 28-20 lead midway through the first half behind Jackson’s 13 points. But when the sophomore forward went to the bench with his second foul at the 9:33 mark, Baylor wasted no time exploiting his absence.
Dunn drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then drove the lane for a layup and three-point play to get the Bears within 28-26 with 9:02 left. Fred Ellis sank a pair of free throws to tie it, and after Morgan State’s Ameer Ali scored on a putback, Baylor answered with a pair of free throws and a dunk by Acy to go up 32-30 with 6:03 left. The Bears made six straight free throws in the final two minutes to take a 42-40 lead at the break.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)