Bears No Match for Boddicker-led Horns

Something had to give.

Baylor entered Wednesday's tilt with Texas at the Erwin Center riding a three-game winning streak, two of which came on the road. The Horns had won 13 straight at home and had mastered the Bears 10 consecutive times. In fact, a Rick Barnes-coached Texas team had never fallen to BU.

I'm happy to report that Barnes and his Horns are still streakin'. You can pick yourself up off the floor, now.

But seriously, Baylor had every right to come in to Austin confident, having knocked off 13th-ranked OSU in Stillwater 74-72 February 15. Those are the kind of wins that can get a team dreaming. Before entering the arena to start the game, I watched the Bears sing and dance in the tunnel, jacking themselves up. They acted pretty cocky.

The Bear dream of taming Texas in the state capital, however, never came close to coming true.

BU hung tight the first eight minutes or so, but when Brian Boddicker knocked down his first trey of the night at the 10:16 mark, the Horns broke into a double-digit lead at 18-8. That lead would bulge to 22-8 before Bear guard John Lucas got a finger roll to fall. The Horns would notch the next six straight to go up 28-10. With Boddicker's third trey, Texas doubled up the Bears 38-19 at the half and the demolition was on.

Baylor played Texas about even in the second but could manage to trim only a point off the Horns' halftime lead. Texas 82, Baylor 64. Boddicker's 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 8 threes, led Texas. James Thomas' 17 boards led the team and tied his career high for the second straight game. "That's what I do," said Thomas. "I take pride in rebounding. It's not just me, it's my teammates, too. I block out and get the rebound."

"Tonight I was feeling good," said Boddicker. "These past couple of games I didn't get in the rhythm but I felt it tonight. I got good looks from my teammates and took advantage of the opportunities. We all have our breaks and mine was tonight."

Watching Texas take apart the Bears Wednesday, I couldn't help but wonder how in the name of Naismith Baylor managed to knock off the Cowboys on their home court. You know, Okie State, the same guys that subdued the Horns on that same pine last Saturday. Had to have been that OSU had just watched OU put a 91-42 blistering on BU in Norman, followed by Kansas' 79-58 breather over the Bears in Waco leading up to the game. Combine that with the fact that the Pokes had the Sooners up next and you've got a terminal case of overlook-itis.

To Baylor's credit, they parlayed that OSU win into a little mo', following it up with Ws over Kansas State and Nebraska. Good thing for the Horns, too — those BU wins kept them focused on Baylor, lest they fall into the same trap that Dave Bliss' boys set for Okie State.

"Texas is a tremendous basketball team," said Bliss post-game. "They're very physical and they do a good job of bumping you out of your comfort zone. They earn every accolade they get."

Bliss noted that the Longhorns' bench, which hurt them in the loss to OSU, outscored the Bear bench to the tune of 28-6. Regarding the Horns' depth, Bliss added "(Texas') post play is among the best in the country and one of their best guys (Deginald Erskin) isn't even playing. They do a very good job of playing attrition basketball, both at guard and inside. They come at you in waves."

The Horns will take those waves to Lubbock for a Saturday showdown with Bobby Knight's Raiders at 3 p.m. on CBS. With the win, Texas goes to 10-3 in conference. With OU's 67-52 blowout loss at Mizzou Wednesday night, the Horns are tied with the Sooners for second place behind Kansas, which stands alone on top at 11-2 after trouncing A&M Wednesday night. Oklahoma State is one game back of OU and Texas at 9-4.

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