Bad News, Bears: No. 10 Texas takes down No. 11 Baylor, 76-71

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

No. 10 Texas secured a bounce-back win on Monday, defeating No. 11 Baylor 76-71 at the Moody Center. The Longhorns win means Texas has yet to lose two games in a row this season.

“I was really proud of how our guys responded after getting beat,” interim head coach Rodney Terry said.

The Longhorns’ defense shined at nearly all levels behind its primary forwards. Freshman Dillon Mitchell and seniors Timmy Allen and Dylan Disu successfully defended the paint and created turnovers against a physical Baylor team.

“If you’re going to be on the floor for me, you’re gonna have to guard,” Terry said. “We’ll figure out how to score.”

Midway through the second half, Texas extended its lead by creating several turnovers and sent the Bears into a nearly five minute field goal drought.

Mitchell, who led Texas with seven rebounds, kicked off the Longhorns’ push in the second half with a dunk, and from that moment, their defense wouldn’t allow any easy shots for Baylor.

Allen extended the lead with a mid range jumper, and four second-half three-pointers from senior guard Sir’Jabari Rice, who led Texas with 21 points, kept the Bears at a comfortable distance.

“Rice is a heck of a player,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “He really adds a great dimension for (Texas).”

Texas prioritized getting to the paint early and defended the easy shots, which left a Baylor comeback up to longer, less efficient scoring opportunities. The Bears shot 36.8% from the field and 30% from the three-point line.

Texas held Baylor’s leading scorer, freshman Keyonte George, scoreless for nearly the entire first half, but the guard heated up in the second half to end with 17 points. Baylor junior guard LJ Cryer led his team with 19 points.

The Longhorns’ paint presence allowed them to shoot high-percentage shots and helped spread the floor leaving open opportunities for Texas three-pointers, especially in the second half.

The Longhorns were aided at the free throw line, shooting 23 free throws, including crucial makes from Disu and Allen down the stretch. The team ended the night making 16 out of 23 free throw attempts. 

Texas is now in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 as it enters its two-game road stint at Kansas State on Saturday and Kansas next Monday.

“You get it for one night,” Terry said about his team’s new position at the top of the league. “Then it’s onto the next.”