COLUMBIA — Baylor senior guard LaceDarius Dunn experienced something he hasn’t in nearly two seasons.
Dunn, who leads the conference with a 20.8 scoring average, was held scoreless in the first half of Wednesday night’s men's basketball game against Missouri at Mizzou Arena.
The Tigers were the first team to hold Dunn scoreless since Jackson State stopped him in the second half of a game in December of 2009. The last time a Big 12 opponent held Dunn scoreless in a half was in February of 2009 when Iowa State held him scoreless in the first half.
“Most teams do key in on me and try and take me away,” Dunn said after the game. “I wasn’t frustrated or feeling down on myself because I know I can score at any given moment.”
Missouri coaches and players said on Monday that one of the keys to beating Baylor was to shut down Dunn, who came into Wednesday's game only 40 points shy of passing former Texas Tech player Andre Emmett as the Big 12's all-time leading scorer. Dunn, who has made a 3-pointer in a school-record 40 games, was also only 11 3-pointers short of becoming the Big 12’s all-time leading 3-point scorer.
During the press conference after Missouri's 77-59 victory, Dunn sat hunched over in his chair. He looked down at the stat sheet in front of him, bit down on his lip and shook his head.
He was quick to credit Missouri’s high-pressure defense.
“They do a great job of forcing turnovers,” Dunn said. “They pressed us well and made us play outside of our game. They did a great job of containing me and making me make decisions I normally don’t make. They made us play fast, made us play out of our game, made us make passes that we normally wouldn’t make and turn the ball over, so give them credit.”
On defense, Missouri rotated guards Marcus Denmon and Kim English against Dunn. To Denmon, it was an assignment he told Missouri coach Mike Anderson that he wanted to take.
“It was a challenge since he’s been leading the Big 12 in scoring, so I wanted to limit him to what he could get,” Denmon said. “We wanted to make him take those tough shots.”
Anderson said that he was proud of his team’s effort against Dunn.
“LaceDarius Dunn is one of the leading scorers in our league, but he’s held scoreless in the first half — that doesn’t happen very often,” Anderson said. “Our players want to draw some good assignments, and our guys did a great job. When he came on strong, we’d doubled up on him.”
In the second half, Dunn had more success than he did in the first, scoring 12 points. For the game, he went 4-for-14 shooting and had six turnovers.
Just a minute into the second half, he snapped his scoreless streak with 3-pointer from the left corner. A minute later, Dunn made a 2-pointer to pass Texas Tech's Jarrius Jackson for second place on the Big 12 all-time scoring list.