dropped an 86-79 decision at Baylor in overtime Saturday in a contest that was
won at the charity stripe. The Bears took 31 more free throws than the
Longhorns, offsetting the best game of freshman point guard Jevan Felix’s
Members also see: Game Thoughts: Baylor
Felix notched a career-best 26 points, and tallied nine
assists against just one turnover in 43 minutes. Felix played under control
throughout the game but missed a pair of free throws in overtime. But it was
also a career night for Bear forward Cory Jefferson (25 points, including 11 of
14 free throws), and that’s part of what has Texas coach Rick Barnes steaming.
Barnes was frustrated with Texas’ post play on both ends,
stating that Baylor’s frequent trips to the foul line stemmed from his front
court being out of position. Baylor was
a whopping 36 of 45 from the free throw line while Texas was just nine of 14. Barnes also lamented the fact that his big
men rarely demand the ball, forcing his club to rely on its guards for points.
Texas entered the contest as the national leader in field
goal percentage defense (33.7 percent) and held Baylor to 35.9 percent (23 of
64) from the floor. The Horns shot 44.6 percent (33 of 74), including 4 of 12
from three-point range.
Both teams accounted for 36 points in the paint while Baylor
won the battle of the boards, 45-44. There were 13 ties and 13 lead changes
Baylor scored the final seven points in overtime, and
Jonathan Holmes and Jaylen Bond fouled out in overtime. Meanwhile, Bear coach
Scott Drew missed the first of two Big 12 games following the school’s self-imposed
penalties for excessive contact with recruits.
Baylor threatened to pull away early with a 26-17 lead, but Sheldon
McClellan scored seven straight to knot the affair with 5:41 left until
halftime. Julien Lewis’ three-ball gave Texas a brief 31-30 lead. But Texas was guilty of eight first half
turnovers and couldn’t buy a shot around the rim down the stretch. The Horns missed their final six shots of the
opening frame as Baylor closed with a 10-0 run.
Texas chipped away at the nine-point deficit by attacking
the rim, taking better care of the ball and stepping up its pressure defense. Baylor
missed its first 12 shots of the second half as McClellan’s jumper from the
left wing tied the game at 46-apiece. Felix’ floater gave Texas its first lead of
the second half, 48-46, as part of a 13-2 run.
Brady Halslip’s three-ball, with just under 11 minutes
remaining, was Baylor’s first field goal since intermission and spotted the
Bears with a 51-46 lead. Felix’s driving
layup knotted the affair at 55 apiece with 7:04 left. Texas struggled on the
defensive boards in the closing minutes, but McClellan’s put-back forged a
66-66 tie with just under three minutes remaining.
Texas got two blocks and a Jonathan Holmes defensive board
after Baylor missed five shots on a single possession. But Felix missed a
driving layup at the one-minute mark.
Forty-three percent free throw shooter Isaiah Austin knocked
down a pair at the charity stripe for the Bears, but Holmes followed with a put-back
slam, tying the game at 68, with 38 ticks left. Texas forced a shot clock
violation with 2.4 seconds in regulation. Felix’s desperation attempt bounced off the
rim as this one went into overtime.
Texas fell to 8-6 on the season and has dropped seven of its
last nine to Baylor. The Bears improved
to 9-4. Texas’ Big 12 home opener against West Virginia is set for Wednesday