Waco, TX (Sports Network) – LaceDarius Dunn scored a game-high 24 points to keep 11th-ranked Baylor undefeated with a 68-54 win over Arizona State in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series at Ferrell Center.
Dunn was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc for Baylor (6-0), which has seen double-digit victories in each of its games this season. A.J. Walton added 13 points and five rebounds, while Perry Jones III chipped in 12 points and seven boards in the victory.
“Coming in we knew it would be. Arizona State is a very good team,” Dunn said. “They are well coached. They played a zone that is very tough to get shots off. I think we did a good job with A.J. (Walton) getting us into our plays and executing well to get the shots we needed.”
Rihards Kuksiks had 13 points and six rebounds for the Sun Devils (3-3), who dropped their second straight game. Ty Abbott and Kyle Cain had 12 and 10 points, respectively, in defeat.
“Playing a team like this, you don’t have a large margin for error to begin with,” ASU head coach Herb Sendek said. “Then you look at the eight points we left at the free throw line. Unless you are going to be an overwhelming team, those things start to add up. You look at the turnovers, missed free throws and some other opportunities that we didn’t convert.”
Baylor doubled Arizona State’s score, 16-8, only 6 1/2 minutes into the game thanks to A.J. Walton’s jumper. J’mison Morgan made it a 30-18 edge on a layup, but Baylor was only able to score on a Dunn three pointer the remaining 6:45 of the half. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils went on a seven-point spurt capped off by Kuksik’s jump shot making the score 30-25.
Jamelle McMillan drained a short shot just under a minute to play in the half to cut into Baylor’s 33-27 halftime edge.
Arizona State came out of the break with an 8-3 spurt led by back-to-back three pointers by Kuksiks. Trent Lockett’s short jumper finished the run to make it a one-point margin, 36-35, with 18 minutes left to play.
A minute later, Dunn answered back with consecutive treys of his own to take a 39-35 lead. That shot sparked a 14-3 run by the Bears, which took a 12-point lead with 13 minutes left to play.
The Sun Devils never were able to get within seven points the remainder of the game, while the Bears stretched out their lead to 17 with 1:19 left to play on two Dunn free throws.
Baylor leads the series 4-2. It was also the teams’ first meeting in Waco… Dunn has made a three point field goal in 20 consecutive games — nine shy of Tevis Stukes’ school record of 29-game streak…The Bears have made at least one three-point field goal in 594 consecutive games — the second-longest active streak in the Big 12 (Texas). The last time Baylor did not connect from three-point range was February 21, 1990 vs. Texas Tech…Baylor extended its home winning streak to 11 games, tying the Ferrell Center record set last season…Dunn, while getting a rebound, slipped and fell to the ground near the end of the game. He did return two minutes later and after the game he said it was “tender” and will get X-rays in the morning.