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Baylor beats Arizona State

November 29, 2008

Curtis Jerrells scored 22 points as Baylor made a huge statement on Friday, upsetting 14th-ranked Arizona State, 87-78, to advance to the finals of the 76 Classic.

LaceDarius Dunn poured in 27 points off the bench and Henry Dugat added 14 for the Bears, who opened the season with five straight wins - four by double-digits - but had yet to face a ranked opponent.

Baylor, which next will face 24th-ranked Wake Forest in the finals on Sunday, proved that it deserves to be mentioned amongst the best 25 teams in the country, making their point from long distance.

Following a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes that left the teams tied, 31-31, entering the break, the Bears caught fire from the arc immediately after emerging from the locker rooms.

Dugat started the second half with a 3-pointer and the rest of the team followed his lead.

Baylor made five of its first six 3-pointers after the break to forge a 53-38 advantage with 14:17 remaining in the game.

After an Arizona State timeout, James Harden, who finished with 32 points and nine rebounds, scored three straight points and Jamelle McMillan drained a three to pull the Sun Devils back within 55-44 with 13:06 left.

Dunn scored the next six points for the Bears, putting them back on top by 15 points.

The Sun Devils chipped away at the lead, closing to within five points with one minute remaining. It was too little too late, however, as Baylor made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Arizona State had surrendered an average of 53 points during its season-opening four straight wins, but were victimized by the hot shooting of Baylor.

After the Sun Devils allowed the opposition to shoot 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range this season, the Bears made 50 percent (26-of-52) of their shots from the floor and 46 percent (11-of-24) from the arc.