Longhorns End on High Note

WACO — If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. The Texas Longhorns (25-6, 13-3 Big 12) won their final regular season game against the Baylor Bears (18-12, 7-9) 60-54, on the strength of their offensive rebounds and second-chance points.

The Longhorns shot just 35.6 percent from the field for the game, and weren't much better from the free throw line, hitting 16-of-27 freebies. But they also grabbed 23 offensive rebounds working largely against Baylor's matchup zone, leading to bunches of second-chance points and eventually a hard-fought road win.

On a Senior Night that saw Baylor senior guard Lacedarius Dunn became the Big 12's all-time leading scorer, it appeared that the Longhorns would again get nipped for an underperforming offense and poor shooting. Dunn nailed a step-back three-pointer to give the Bears a 24-21 halftime lead, then stuck a second-half jumper that gave the Bears their largest lead at 34-25 with 17:01 remaining.

Texas came charging back, using a 14-4 run to take the lead on a Tristan Thompson free throw. That run — completed at the 9:32 mark — was set up largely by 10 Longhorn points earned off offensive rebounds.

Still, a pair of Dunn free throws tied the game at 45-all with 5:45 left before the Longhorns wrestled the lead away for good. Jordan Hamilton hit a three-pointer to give Texas a three-point lead, a lead that Texas was able to keep by knocking in all eight free throws the Longhorns attempted in the final 3:05, with Alexis Wangmene hitting four of those shots.

Still, the game was won on the offensive glass, where Texas actually out-rebounded Baylor 23-22, thanks largely to nine offensive boards from Thompson. Overall, the Longhorns grabbed 44 boards to Baylor's 29.

Thompson paced the Longhorns with 19 points and 13 rebounds, with Gary Johnson (15-8) and Hamilton (14-9), chipping in on the scoreboard and on the glass.

Those rebounds helped Texas win a game where they were outshot by seven percent from the field and 13 percent from the three-point line. In his final home game, Dunn put in 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting. No other Bear scored in double figures, with Perry Jones scoring nine points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He also had two blocks, but was beaten for multiple key rebounds down low.

The victory helped Texas snap a skid where the Longhorns dropped three of four games and lost the Big 12 championship in the process.


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