Baylor Bears

Three Thoughts on Texas’ 76-71 Win over Baylor

The Texas Longhorns beat the Baylor Bears, 76-71, at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on Monday. Here are three thoughts on this Big 12 Conference game.

No. 10 Texas (18-4, 7-2) bounced back from its loss to Tennessee in the Big 12-SEC Challenge to hang onto a share of the lead in the Big 12.


No. 11 Baylor (17-6, 5-4 in Big 12) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end and the Bears fell two games back of the lead in the Big 12.

How Texas Won

By flipping the script on the Bears, who usually make a living at the 3-point line. In the second half, it was Texas that did the living from the arc, making six of their eight 3-pointers for the game (Baylor also had eight 3’s for the game). Sir’Jabari Rice led the way with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Rice’s 3-pointers helped keep Baylor at bay, even though the Bears cut the lead to a basket on several occasions in the second half.

Texas put its well-regarded defense to good use. Baylor shot just 37 percent. Texas made sure to pick up Baylor’s talented guards well before the 3-point line. While Texas didn’t dominate the glass (38-37 Baylor edge in rebounds) or in the paint (26-20 Baylor edge), the Longhorns did shoot 47 percent and outscored the Bears off the bench, 30-6.

Forward Timmy Allen was the Longhorns’ most consistent player of the game, scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. Guard Tyrese Hunter had 13 points, including three 3-pointers.


How Baylor Lost

Baylor didn’t exactly shoot well against Arkansas on Saturday, which was a game I covered. The Bears won that game with a combination of good defense and turnover creation.

The defense was there on Monday. But the turnover creation was not. Baylor and Texas had the same amount of turnovers — nine. That prevented the Bears from gathering a lot of points off turnovers. Texas actually outscored them in that category, 9-7. Because Baylor’s defense wasn’t as on point as it was on Saturday, Texas shot 47 percent from the floor and 36 percent from the arc.

Baylor ended up with four players in double figures, with LJ Cryer leading the way with 19 points. Keyonte George had 17, Jalen Bridges had 13 and Adam Flagler had 11.

In this game the margins were small, so small that the fact that Baylor shot 31 percent from the 3-point line and couldn’t create double-digit turnovers was the difference.


The Big 12 Race Now

So, Texas had a share of the Big 12 lead going into the game with Iowa State and Kansas State. Texas held up its end of the bargain.

Iowa State did not.

The Cyclones had a 23-point lead against Texas Tech, a game being played opposite Texas-Baylor. The Red Raiders rallied to win, 80-77, breaking up at least part of the logjam at the top.

Kansas could break up the rest of the logjam on Tuesday night when it faces Kansas State. If the Jayhawks beat the Wildcats, well, then Texas would have the Big 12 lead by itself — with Texas going to Kansas State on Saturday.

It was just another night in the Big 12.  

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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