‘They wanted it more’: No. 20 Texas fails to contain No. 10 Baylor in 80-63 loss

Christina Huang, Sports Desk Editor

There were some harsh words from Texas head coach Chris Beard after No. 20 Texas fell to No. 10 Baylor on Saturday.

“The way we played basketball today was not Texas basketball,” Beard said.

No. 20 Texas paid a visit to the reigning national champion, No. 10 Baylor, on Saturday morning after a monster win over No. 8 Kansas. The Bears were coming off a solid 75-60 win over Kansas State on Wednesday. 

But Texas could not keep its two-game win streak alive against the Bears, in an 80-63 loss. 

Senior forward Christian Bishop opened up the scoring, but Texas’ lead was quickly wiped away with consecutive 3-point jumpers by Baylor guards Adam Flagler and Matthew Mayer. The Longhorns were never able to retake the lead after the Bears swiped it away with those two 3-point shots.

Even with a depleted roster, Baylor completely contained a fully healthy Texas team with virtually no issues. The Bears were missing their leading scorer, LJ Cryer, who has missed the last couple of games due to a foot injury. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Baylor’s leading rebounder, had to be helped off of the court due to a knee injury and did not return.

But fans could not tell that the Bears were missing two of their stat leaders, and Beard echoed this sentiment. 

“Baylor basically beat us with seven players after (Tchatchoua) went down,” Beard said. “We tried 12 or 13 to find a spark, and their seven beat our 12.”

Five Baylor players scored in the double digits, with junior guard Adam Flagler leading all scorers with 20 points. James Akinjo, the Bears’ assists and steals leader, followed closely behind with 15 points. 

Even though Texas usually finishes games with multiple double-digit scorers, senior guard Andrew Jones was the only player to do so with 11 points. Texas’ largest lead of four points came early on in the game, with about 15 minutes left in the first half. 

Postgame, Beard sent all five of his starters to answer to the media about their performances. At no other point this season have all starters spoken to the media at once. 

A somber Courtney Ramey blasted himself and his team for letting the Kansas win affect their performance. 

“We let the Kansas game be our championship,” senior guard Ramey said. “(Baylor) wanted it more. All 13 players can say we played soft today.”

Texas is now 2–6 in away games, with four of those losses coming in conference play. 

The long road to the NCAA Tournament continues, as Texas will face Oklahoma for the second time this season Tuesday. But this time, the game will be in Norman.

Saturday’s performance was defined by an ability to execute. Baylor outrebounded Texas 42 to 32 and had seven blocks compared to Texas’ one. For a team that prides itself on its tough defense, Texas was riled by Baylor’s own. 

“We’re a team that hasn’t proven that we can handle success,” Beard said.