Third quarter mishaps make last quarter rally difficult as Texas loses 64-57 against Baylor

Taylor Hawthorne

Texas had hope in the first half of play against No. 6 Baylor on Monday night. With a two-point deficit going into halftime, the defense gave the Longhorns a fighting chance to take control of the game. 

Then, the third quarter diminished almost any chance of securing the win.  

The first few minutes coming out of halftime has been a struggle for Texas this season, even when leading at the end of the second quarter. The Longhorns came out slow, which gave Baylor the chance to get into their dominating groove and spoil Texas’s last home game and senior night, 64-57.

Texas missed 13 of 16 shots taken in the third quarter. The inability to convert paint points and committing 19 turnovers allowed Baylor to gain the biggest lead of the game.

“We came out flat, we can’t do that,” graduate transfer guard Kyra Lambert said. “They came out punching and that’s the difference in the game. We need to put more energy and effort into coming out of halftime.” 

The only thing that kept Texas alive was free-throw shooting, mainly from junior Joanne-Allen Taylor and junior forward Charli Collier. However, it was personal fouls on the Longhorns that gave Baylor multiple chances to extend their advantage.

Head coach Vic Schaefer, usually level-headed, had to be held back by his assistant coaches after his leading scorer, Collier received her fourth personal foul on a controversial call. The technical foul given to Schaefer sent Baylor to the charity strip to shoot four freebies and lengthen the lead. Collier fouled out with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

“I’m going to fight my ass off for all of us,” Schaefer said. “I’m going to defend them when they need defending. I’m asking my kids to fight, compete and I’m going to do it with them.”

A couple of last ditch efforts from charges, fouls and shots finally swishing in allowed Texas to make it a one score game with 36.5 seconds remaining in the game. Despite this incredible effort on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter, the offensive mishaps from the third quarter were too great to overcome. 

“We were ready to take it over and push to get it to a tie or take the lead,” Allen-Taylor said. “We couldn’t execute in those couple of possessions. We had back-to-back-to-back turnovers — you don't have to say anything, that naturally drains energy.” 

Despite the loss, the fight Texas displayed in the remaining minutes of the fourth quarter left Schaefer with a smile on his face looking on to the court at his tough competitors.

“I think the country saw tonight what we’re all about, what Texas really is and they see what Texas is going to be in the future,” Schaefer said. “I’m proud of these kids tonight. On to the next one.”

Emotions were clearly high during this in-state rivalry at the Frank Erwin Center, which makes the match-up that much more competitive. Lambert believes this is just the beginning of what this team could look like regardless of the mistakes. 

“The way we came out and fought tonight, any team that plays us should be on watch,” Lambert said. “There were highs and lows for both teams. That’s the joy of rivalry games, those are the games you dream about playing in. That’s why we play basketball at the highest level.”