Dunn, flying Acy lead No. 21 Baylor over Texas
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
WACO, Texas (AP) Quincy Acy put on quite a high-flying performance for No. 21 Baylor with 10 dunks, rim-rattling points that repeatedly sent the record crowd into a frenzy.
For Texas, Acy’s show became a rerun that was difficult to watch in the Bears’ 92-77 victory Saturday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game in which we gave up that many dunks,” Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said. “Too many guys standing around watching. … I’m not sure we have anybody he didn’t drive by.”
Acy added two emphatic blocks with his career-high 24 points and LaceDarius Dunn scored 30 for the Bears, who wrapped up their winningest regular season in 64 years. The win assured Baylor (24-6, 11-5) a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament.
During a 3-minute span of the second half when the Bears extended their lead to double figures, Baylor had five baskets – four of them dunks by Acy.
“He’s a great finisher,” coach Scott Drew said, flashing a smile while shaking his head.
“My teammates did a good job finding me,” Acy said. “I knew I was capable (of 10 dunks). … I just did what I do best.”
Tweety Carter, one of two seniors playing his last home game for Baylor, had 16 points and 10 assists. His reverse layup with just under 6 minutes left in the first half broke a tie, igniting a 12-4 half-ending run that put the Bears ahead to stay. Next came a dunk by Acy.
Gary Johnson had 25 points for the Longhorns (23-8, 9-7), who have lost eight of their 14 games after a 17-0 start made them the No. 1 team in the country on Jan. 11.
Seven weeks later, the Longhorns are unranked and headed into the 12-team league tournament as the No. 6 seed after being swept in the regular season by Baylor for the first time since 1998. Texas coach Rick Barnes had been 11-0 in games at Waco, and 24-2 overall against the Bears.
If the Longhorns win their Big 12 tournament opener Wednesday night against Iowa State, they play Baylor again Thursday night.
Baylor, which played its home finale before a Ferrell Center-record crowd of 10,562, has its most wins in the regular season since the 1945-46 team that won 25 games. The Bears were 24-15 last season, but seven of those wins came in the postseason when they were runners-up in the Big 12 tournament and the NIT.
A year ago, Baylor lost 10 of its last 12 regular-season games before making it to the Big 12 title game and then the NIT championship. The Bears have won seven of eight going into this postseason.
“We still have to work hard, but it’s a good momentum boost,” Carter said. “Last year, with no momentum, we made it to the championship game.”
After Ekpe Udoh rebounded Acy’s miss, Udoh looked at Carter outside and then flipped a pass inside to a wide-open Acy for a slam. Texas then missed a shot and Carter responded with an ally-oop pass to Acy for another slam that made it 55-44.
A.J. Walton drove for a layup, then Acy dunked for the next two Baylor baskets – sandwiching four straight points for Texas – and the Bears led 61-50 before Carter added a 3-pointer.
Damion James and Jordan Hamilton each had 18 points for Texas, which shot 51 percent (28 of 55) from the field.
The Longhorns had won four of six games, but is that momentum gone?
“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” Barnes said, then repeated himself again.
The Bears shot 55 percent (36 of 66), with 54 points coming in the paint. They also outscored Texas 11-0 on fast-break points.
Soon after Acy’s four-dunk spurt in the second half, he swatted a shot by James into the courtside band.
After Carter’s tiebreaking basket in the first half and a Texas miss, Acy extended the lead when he took a step along the baseline and delivered a tomahawk slam with his right hand. When Avery Bradley penetrated the lane for Texas a couple of minutes after that, Acy swatted the ball over the Baylor bench.
The Bears went up 40-34 when Dunn had a steal and got the ball to Acy for another slam, then Dunn closed out the first-half scoring with a jumper.
“They’ve got a good balance, inside and out. And they played hard. It’s one of the best Baylor teams I’ve played against,” said James, who matched a Big 12 record by starting his 137th game. “(Defense) was pretty bad, man. We didn’t rotate. We didn’t challenge shots like we usually do.”
Updated March 6, 2010