But like every other opportunity they have been given during conference play, the Bears found themselves unable to take advantage. Under five minutes later, they were already down by double-digits.
That's how things have gone this season for Baylor (14-9, 2-8), and it was no different in an 88-72 loss to No. 21 Oklahoma (18-6, 7-4) in Norman on Saturday night.
Baylor looked like they had finally come out to play to start things out. The Bears scored the first five points of the game, including a three-pointer by senior guard Brady Heslip. Austin nailed a couple more step-back threes for Baylor in the next few minutes, but from there it was the Buddy Hield show.
The Oklahoma guard completely owned Baylor in the first half. After missing his first shot, Hield nailed five straight three-pointers in the half. He finished with 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field in only 17 minutes.
The Bears were up 11-10 with 15:15 left in the first half. By the 10:09 mark, they were already down double-digits 26-14. Baylor would stick around, but Tyler Neal would nail a three-pointer with 2:05 left to give Oklahoma a 43-35 lead heading into halftime.
Baylor allowed the Sooners to shoot a scorching 64 percent in the first half and 61.1 percent from the three-point line. Along with Hield, Cameron Clark hit all four of his shots to finish with nine points. Despite struggling from the field to start, Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard had seven assists in the first half alone.
The Bears shot 46 percent from both the field and three-point line, but their offensive production was nowhere near enough to really keep them in the game. Austin stayed hot and finished with 16 first-half points on only seven shots.
Like so many other times this season, Baylor played from a deficit for most of the second half. The Bears managed to cut the lead down to five with 13:09 remaining, but Oklahoma made their move from there. Je'lon Hornbeak hit a layup and Neal hit a three-pointer to put Oklahoma up by double-digits. The Bears would never get closer than eight from there on the way to an 88-72 loss.
Whle Hield took over in the first, Isaiah Cousins took over in the second half. The guard finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in the second-half alone, while Hield was held to only two points for the half.
Austin led the game with 21 points and six rebounds. Heslip was the only other Bears in double-figures with 12 points, all on three-pointers. Hield, Cousins and Cameron Clark combined for 56 points on 20-for-29 shooting from the field and 10-for-15 shooting from the three-point line for Oklahoma.
Baylor was outrebounded 35-30 in the loss. Austin was the leading rebounder with only six boards. Outside of Austin, Baylor shot 37.8 percent from the field to Oklahoma's 53.6 percent and 48.3 percent from the three-point line.
The loss is Baylor's second in a row and seventh in their last eight after starting conference play on such a strong note. The Bears' NCAA Tournament hopes seem to be all but dead after this loss. Despite being the highest ranked team in the Big 12 coming into conference play, Baylor currently sits at ninth out of 10 in conference, ahead of only lowly TCU.
Baylor will look to recover at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Fort Worth as they play bottom-feeder TCU live on ESPNU. One of Baylor's two Big 12 wins came against TCU back on Jan. 11.