Texas Loses Late to Baylor

The good news for Texas is that the Longhorns seem to be not far behind the top teams in the league, with the Longhorns finding late chances against Kansas, Kansas State and now Baylor, three of the top four teams in the league. The bad news is that, just like in the other two games, Texas didn't make the plays down the stretch to win.

J'Covan Brown led a furious Texas rally that saw the Longhorns come back from a 12-point second-half deficit, though Baylor never relinquished the lead, and finished with a 76-71 victory. Perry Jones III scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Bears to the win.

Texas coach Rick Barnes always says that he wants the Longhorns to make more free throws than the other team shoots. But Saturday, Texas found itself on the wrong side of that equation. Texas shot 26 free throws, making 16. Baylor made 27-of-34, including 9-of-10 in the final 3:30 to ice the game.

The Bears ended a bit of a back-and-forth first half with a late bucket by Jones, upping the lead to nine points, 38-29, at halftime. Baylor then extended that advantage to 12 at 52-40 with 12:55 left in the game. But Texas went on a 14-2 run thanks to seven Brown points, the last being a three-pointer with 8:50 left that tied the game and forced Baylor to take timeout.

Baylor scored the next four points and kept the lead the rest of the game, though not for a lack of Longhorn effort. Texas trailed by one bucket several times, the last of which came at the end of the game. After a Pierre Jackson turnover, Myck Kabongo went to the line with a chance to cut the 73-70 Baylor lead to one. He made one of two, then Brady Heslip did the same, giving Texas a final opportunity inside of 20 seconds, down three at 74-71.

As has happened so many times this season, the final effort fell just short. Brown missed a potential game-tying three-pointer and A.J. Walton made a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to clinch it.

Brown broke out of a shooting slump by hitting 11-of-22 shots, including four three-pointers to score 32 points. It was the third time this year he has topped the 30-point mark. He also had five assists. Kabongo was the only other Longhorn in double digits, and had 12 points and five dimes himself.

Jones was one of four Baylor players to hit double figures. Quincy Miller had 18 points and six rebounds, while Quincy Acy chipped in a double-double with 10 and 10. Brady Heslip scored 11. The four Baylor double-figure scorers combined to hit 24-of-30, or 80 percent, of their free throws.

Baylor also out-rebounded Texas, statistically one of the league's best rebounding teams, 40-28.

Baylor (19-2, 6-2 Big 12) stays tied for second place in the league with Missouri, one game behind Kansas, which lost to Iowa State Saturday. The immediate road doesn't get any easier for the Longhorns (13-8, 3-5), who will host the Tigers at 8 p.m. Monday.

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