The Baylor Bears held off a late Texas Longhorns push to come up with a 76-71 victory in Waco, Texas. The sixth ranked Bears got only its second victory of a Rick Barnes coached Longhorns team. The win came on the backs of Qunicy Acy and Perry Jones III. Acy would have 10 points and ten rebounds and Jones III would have 22 points and 14 rebounds.
The crowd was a big factor in the game. After the first media timeout the entire crowd of 10,284 put on neon t-shirts for the nationally televised game. Head Coach Scott Drew said, “Last year college game day was here and it did not end the way we wanted it to, this year was we were able to do that (get a win), because we owed the fans one.”
The first half of the game was controlled by the Bears jumping out to a 5-2 lead with Jones III scoring all points for the Bears. Jones III and the Bears would totally control the boards in the game out gaining the Longhorns 23-10 at halftime and 40 to 28 for the game.
One of the reasons for the total domination of the boards by the Bears is that Senior Clint Chapman was forced to the bench early because of foul trouble. Chapman would pick up his second foul 2 minutes 37 seconds into the game.
The Bears would take a nine point lead into the half thanks to 12 points and 10 rebounds by Jones III. Offensive efficiency would also be a key factor for the Bears. The Bears would shot 53.8 percent from the floor and 77.8 percent from behind the three point line for the half.
In the second half the Longhorns would go down by 11 after a Myck Kabongo turnover that lead directly to a Brady Heslip layup to make the score 40-29. The Longhorns would not give up and would battle back to keep the game close.
J’Covan Brown would hit a jumper with 11:14 left to cut the Bears lead to six 52-46 and on the next possession a Julien Lewis layup would cut the lead to four at 52-48. The Longhorns would tie the game on three point shot by Brown with 2:53 left.
Pierre Jackson would answer with a three of his own to give the Bears a three point lead again. A couple of free throws by Jones III would give the Bears a 73-66 lead with 1:28 to play. Free throws by Brown and Chapman would cut the lead to three 73-70. The Longhorns had many opportunities to make the game closer, but they missed on some critical short shots late some while in the act of shooting.
Kabongo made one of two free throws to make it a one possession game with 25 seconds left 73-71. Brown would attempt the long three point shot with 20 seconds left, but would miss and the Bears would made free throws to close out the game. Brown would finish with a team high 32 points.
The Texas Longhorns (13-8 Big 12 3-5)will host the Missouri Tigers in Austin, Texas on Monday at 8 pm as part of ESPN Big Monday and the Baylor Bears(19-2 Big 12 6-2) will travel to Texas A&M to play the Aggies Wednesday February 1 at 8 pm on ESPN 2