Dunn scores 24 in debut, Baylor wins over Lipscomb
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Basketball Writer
WACO, Texas (AP) -- LaceDarius Dunn came onto the court for his season debut with a wide-eyed excited look on his face and hearing plenty of cheers from Baylor fans.
When he kept knocking down 3-pointers, Dunn and the fans were relishing his return from a season-opening suspension even more.
"It meant a lot," Dunn said. "The suit felt good, but the jersey felt a whole lot better, just being able to get back out there with the guys."
Dunn scored 24 points with seven 3-pointers and the 12th-ranked Bears defeated Lipscomb 72-60 on Monday night, when the senior guard played for the first time since being suspended for the first three games after a domestic dispute charge involving his girlfriend.
Waco police have accused Dunn of breaking his girlfriend's jaw. The woman, the mother of Dunn's 3-year-old son, has disputed police accounts, saying Dunn didn't hit her and her jaw wasn't broken when she went to the hospital in September. She has asked that all charges be dropped.
Speaking publicly for the first time since turning himself into police last month, Dunn declined to comment on the charge.
"I just want to thank my fans, thank my family, everybody for their support," he said.
Police have sent the case to outgoing McLennan County District Attorney John Segrest, who hasn't commented.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Dunn put the Bears (4-0) up 9-0 less than 4 minutes into the game. After Dunn had missed his first shot 2 minutes into the game, A.J. Walton made a 3-pointer and then Dunn connected from the left corner on consecutive possessions.
After halftime, Dunn made four 3s in the first 3 minutes to send the crowd into a frenzy and stretch the lead to 47-30.
"I think people forgot how quickly he can score," coach Scott Drew said. "You remember very quickly in that second half. ... It helps when somebody scores 24 points on 13 shots."
The leading scorer last season when Baylor made it to an NCAA regional final and had a school-record 28 wins, Dunn played 31 minutes in his season debut. He was 8-of-13 shooting, including 7-of-11 3s, with five rebounds, four assists and six turnovers.
Quincy Acy had 18 points and 14 rebounds for Baylor.
Jordan Burgason had 15 points to lead Lipscomb (2-2), whose other loss this season was to 25th-ranked North Carolina.
Dunn, who could become the career scoring leader for Baylor and the Big 12, was in the starting lineup and the last player introduced Monday night.
"I know a lot of people still have butterflies. But I'm a senior now so all my butterflies should be gone," Dunn said. "I was just anxious to get out there, and just come out and have fun and do what I love to do, just play the game."
In the opening minute of the second half, Dunn hit a 3-pointer. He then had a steal then a turnover of his own before making three long-range shots in the row. After the fourth one of the half, when Lipscomb called timeout, Dunn repeatedly stamped his chest with his right hand with a huge smile on his face.
"As good as advertised," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said of Dunn. "I wish he wasn't there. I wish he'd been suspended one more game. He's awful good. ... He kind of gave us that knockout punch early in the second half."
Before the Bears played their season opener Nov. 12, the school announced Dunn's suspension, which had been indefinite until then, would be for the first three games of the regular season.
Dunn extended his school record for career 3-pointers to 306 and increased his points total to 1,763, which is 427 shy over breaking Terry Teagle's school record that has stood since 1982. Dunn is 494 points from overtaking Texas Tech's Andre Emmett as the Big 12's top scorer.
Baylor led 17-7 with 13:21 left in the first half when Fred Ellis penetrated for a short jumper.
The Bears then slumped, missing seven shots with five turnovers (two by Dunn) over a stretch of more than 5 minutes before scoring again.
Lipscomb was within 17-14 when Justin Glenn made a short floater. After a bad pass by Bears freshman guard Stargell Love, Michael Teller missed a tying 3-pointer and the Bisons never got closer. Anthony Jones grabbed the rebound and Dunn found his way to the left corner and made another 3 for a 20-14 lead.
Acy had a pair of strong inside baskets -- a dunk and an ally-oop lay-in with a defender in his face -- before Walton drove the baseline and made a left-handed hook shot to make it 33-23 just before halftime.
Acy was just glad to have Dunn playing again.
"It's a wonder playing with him. He opened up so much stuff for everybody else," Acy said. "When he gets hot, it makes you feel like you're hot. It feels good to have him back on the court."
Updated November 22, 2010