Jonathan Motley's big game leads Baylor over Texas

The Baylor Bears overcame an early 8-point deficit to run away from the Texas Longhorns, 74-64.

The Baylor Bears defeated the Texas Longhorns 74-64 Tuesday night to improve to 17-1 on the season, 5-1 in conference play.  Behind a monster second half from junior post Jonathan Motley, Baylor built up to a 20 point lead and coasted to an easy victory. 

The Preseason All-Big 12 selection, Motley continued to put together and All-American caliber season. It was a clinic on both sides of the court, scoring a career high 32 points and grabbing a career high 20 rebounds.  In 16 second half minutes, Motley was simply the best player on the court, putting up 23 points on 8-12 shooting and collecting 14 rebounds. His rebounding was so impressive, the Longhorns had just 13 team rebounds in the second half. 

A slow start for the Bears, and a litany of questionable whistles by the referees, saw Texas pound the ball inside and build an early 12-4 lead as the Bears struggled with 5-early turnovers and foul trouble.  With Jo Acuil limited to just 7 minutes, junior forward Nuni Omot played 8 minutes and scored a team high 9 points on 4-5 shooting in the first half.  With Omot contributing, it allowed Jonathan Motley to warm up to the game, scoring 7 points in the last three minutes of the half, as the Bears took control of the game. 

With adjustments made at halftime to take away the inside attack of Texas, and a switch to more man-defense, the Bears shut down the Texas offense in the second half, at one point holding them to 25% shooting well into the second. Texas would shoot just 35.7% in the second half, including 1-10 from 3-point range.  The lone bright spot for Texas were the post duo of freshman Jarrett Allen (17 points and 10 rebounds) and senior Shaquille Cleare (14 points). Those two were a combined 13-20 from the field, but the rest of the Longhorns were a paltry 9-33.  

With the Longhorns settling for more jumpers, the Bears cleared the glass with Motley leading the way.  Once Baylor's defense started to click, the offense carried the way, continuing to pound the ball into the lane, on the elbow, or even at the arc to their star forward.  Motley would take Allen off the dribble, finish through contact down low, or hit a mid-range jumper. 

With Motley taking over the game, it was really just up to the rest of the Bears to get him the ball and let him do his work down low.  The effort, focus, and efficiency from the potential All-American were at a level that was missing the past few weeks.  It was what Baylor fans saw earlier in the year in games against in the non-conference.  With no answer, the Longhorns simply had to foul him, sending Cleare and freshman James Banks to the bench with 5-fouls and Allen with 4.  

When Motley or one of the other Bears missed, Motley would usually get the ball back and put it up, taking over possessions by himself.  Baylor out-rebounded Texas 41-29, including 17 offensive rebounds for the Bears. 

The Bears hit the road this weekend to Fort Worth, to take on the surprising 14-3 TCU Horned Frogs. 

Game Notes

  • Baylor closed the final 5:08 of the first half on a 16-4 run to turn a 27-22 deficit into a 38-31 halftime lead. 
  • Baylor used a 9-0 run in the middle of the second half to extend a 54-44 lead to 63-44. 
  • Baylor outshot Texas (45.2 percent to 40.8 percent). BU is 16-0 when outshooting its this season and 237-23 under Drew. 
  • Johnathan Motley (32 Points, 20 Rebounds) is the fourth player in program history to score 30 or more points and grab 20 or more rebounds in a game, joining Jerry Mallett (1957), Darrell Hardy (1966) and Rico Gathers (2015).
  • Nuni Omot scored a career-high 14 points in the game, previous-high was 8 points against Southern on Dec. 14, 2016. 
  • King McClure missed the first game of his career, snapping a of 51-straight games played. He has a slight knee sprain. 
  • Baylor is 45-8 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season. 

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