The sixth-ranked Baylor Bears protected their home-floor on Saturday with a 76-71 win over the Texas Longhorns. The victory gave the Bears their first 6-2 conference start since 1987.
"I think first of all, if you look at Texas and anytime you have a rivalry game, it's not over until it's over," said Baylor head coach Scott Drew. "I think Coach Barnes has done a phenomenal job with such a young team. Look at all their scorers and they've won a lot of close games, so we knew it was going to be a 40-minute game."
Baylor led through much of the game, but the Longhorns never went away. After falling behind by double-digits early in the second half, Texas fought back to a 66-66 tie on a J'Covan Brown 3-pointer with 2:54 remaining.
"They hit some tough shots and got fouled on a couple three-pointers, so they were getting points when the clock wasn't running," said Baylor guard Brady Heslip of the final minutes. "We just have to dig in and get the lead again, start rebounding better and hold down the game."
On the very next possession following the 66-66 tie, Pierre Jackson would drain a three point jumper of his own to surge Baylor ahead to its final lead of the game.
Perry Jones III led Baylor once again with with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Quincy Acy also tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Quincy Miller added 18 points and 6 rebounds. Overall, the Bears out-rebounded Texas, 37-24.
The Longhorns' J'Covan Brown led all scorers with 32 points and added 5 assists. The only other player in double-digit scoring for Texas was Myck Kabongo with 11 points. Forward Clint Chapman sat most of the first half with two fouls and fouled out in the second half with 8 points and only 1 rebound.
For the second weekend in a row, the Bears played in front of a sellout crowd at the Ferrell Center. The Baylor faithful were packed to the rafters, wearing promotional neon shirts that said, "BAYLOR," on the front with the outline of the state of Texas below it.
"I liked it (the neon shirts). I want to thank the marketing and athletic department for doing that. I thought for national TV it looked great," said Drew. "And fans, when we go to a game sometimes, we realize we can have an impact on the outcome of the game and today they did."
Perhaps the design of the T-shirt was symbolic. Baylor is currently the highest ranked basketball team from the state of Texas and is undefeated against the state this season. The Bears will need to continue that trend to stay alive in the chase for the Big 12 regular season championship.
Baylor's next game will be on Wednesday night against the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station.
• Baylor has won five of its last seven games against the Longhorns.
• Baylor is 11-1 at home this season.
• Baylor is 9-2 versus the top 100 of the RPI this season.
• Saturday's crowd of 10,299 was the 12th-largest in Ferrell Center history and the second advanced sellout in program history.
• Baylor is 12-4 in its last 16 games against Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Baylor is 3-0 against those schools this season.
RPI statistics are provided by RealTimeRPI.com
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