By Chris Derrett
There is a new player atop Baylor’s career scoring leaderboard. With a left-handed layup in the Bears’ Tuesday night matchup with Wayland Baptist, senior LaceDarius Dunn notched his 2,190th point in a Baylor uniform and cemented his already well-documented place in Baylor basketball history.
Dunn totaled 17 points to lead his team past the Pioneers, 64-50.
“I just took a deep breath, like it happened, it’s gone, and I can put it behind me now,” Dunn said.
That was the good news. The bad news, coach Scott Drew said, was everything else about the Bears’ effort against the 8-18, NAIA squad it faced.
“There was one positive from tonight, and that was Lace Dunn setting the school record. The rest of it was nothing good. Credit to Wayland Baptist for some of that, but [I’m] obviously very disappointed with our performance,” Drew said.
Baylor finished with 16 turn- overs and 15 assists, the team’s 18th consecutive game in which assists did not surpass turnovers. The Bears have tallied more assists than turnovers in just two games this season, against Prairie View A&M and Bethune-Cookman.
Tuesday the mistakes cost the Bears to the tune of 12 Pioneer points off turnovers by halftime and 19 in the game.
“We just came out playing sluggish,” Dunn said. “The way we played today against Wayland Baptist wasn’t us. We were out there half-going, not communicating.”
The Pioneers were within two points as late as the 7:36 mark of the first half, trailing 21-19.
After Dunn’s fast break dunk put his team ahead 42-24 one minute into the second half, three Baylor turnovers contributed to a 10-1 run that pulled Wayland Baptist to within 43-34. Less than a minute later a free throw cut that deficit to 44-37, but from there Baylor scored eight straight and staved off the Pioneers’ threat.
Defensively, the Bears used Tuesday to polish themselves for their five remaining Big 12 games.
“Do you get out and pressure everywhere, knowing that’s not what you’re going to do in the last five games? We chose to work on things we thought would help us the last five games, and I don’t think anything helped us tonight,” Drew said.
Freshman Perry Jones III added 14 points albeit struggling to 4 of 10 from the free throw line.
Dunn’s wide open, record- breaking layup with 6:31 left in the game prompted Drew to call a timeout. With his mother and father making the trip from his hometown of Monroe, La., to see their son play basketball in person, Dunn pointed to them and waved to the Ferrell Center crowd before quietly taking high-fives from teammates and returning to the floor.
Dunn’s teammates were equally glad to see the record shattered.
“I was happy. I wanted to get the assist for it,” Acy said. “It’s good to see him get that. That’s amazing, that many points. I’m still working on my thousand.”
Acy’s 10 points on the night brought his career total to 834.
To Drew, Dunn’s record was no surprise.
“In practice, you can’t ask for a better player to coach,” Drew said. “If it’s a walkthrough, he goes hard. If it’s a shootaround, he goes hard. He doesn’t have an on-off switch. He’s always on.”
As far as brushing Tuesday’s game aside, Drew said his players will not get off as easy as they wish.
“I think the players would like to wipe this one away, but I think we’ll wait a little bit longer to wipe it away. I think we’re not quite done with it yet,” Drew said.