Ekpe Udoh (File Photo)
Nov. 15, 2009
WACO, Texas (AP) - Ekpe Udoh hit a turnaround jumper from 20 feet at the buzzer to cap a second-half comeback that lifted Baylor to a 71-69 win Sunday over Hartford.
The junior transfer from Michigan, who finished with a career-high 21 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, made the game-winner while being hounded by a pair of defenders. The 6-foot-10 Edmond, Okla., native became the first Baylor Bear with five blocked shots in a game since Mamadou Diene did it against Kansas in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship (March 12, 2009).
LaceDarius Dunn nearly posted his second straight 30-point game, finishing with 29 points for the Bears (2-0). Dunn has made at least one 3-point field goal in 14 consecutive games and moved into 17th place on Baylor's career scoring list with 1,096 points.
"That is one thing that we knew last year in practice that (Ekpe) was special from the standpoint that everybody talked about his great defense," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. "You didn't hear much about his leadership, but he is a tremendous leader. You didn't hear much about his offensive game, but he was a nightmare in practice last year. We expected him to come up big like this."
Joe Zeglinski led Hartford (0-2) with 23 points. Morgan Sabia, Milton Burton and Joel Barkers each had 14 for the Hawks.
Dunn scored 10 straight points to spark a 13-0 run midway through the second half, giving Baylor its first lead since the opening minutes at 55-54 with 8:02 remaining.
Baylor dominated the inside, outscoring Hartford 34-12 in the paint and outrebounding the Hawks 38-26.
"That was a tough game right there," Udoh said. "To come back from 12 points down and the way that we defended at the end of the game stopping their three-point attack--for us to come together like that with a freshman point guard is great to see," Udoh said.
Baylor concludes its season-opening stretch of three games in four days when the Bears host the Southern Jaguars Monday at 7 p.m. CST in the Ferrell Center.