Tuesday, February 27, 2024

No. 9 MBB Leads Texas in Close Combat

Scott Drew He came out of the Moody Center Saturday afternoon with a timeout in his pocket that the Baylor coach wanted him to use.

Ending a nine-minute field goal drought for the Bears, Jalen Bridges knocked down a contested 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left.

But Texas guard Tyrese Hunter had a full head in the creek when he got to the basket and put a shot off the glass above. Langston Love fought overtime, lifting the Longhorns to a stunning 75-73 victory over the ninth-ranked Bears in front of a crowd of 11,603.

“Hindsight, I should have called timeout with five seconds left to make sure we set our defense,” said Drew, whose team fell to the second straight on the road after returning to the top-10.

“We don’t want to give them a chance to draw something, but obviously anything is better than a layup. So, it’s up to me. We have to get better.”

Texas (13-5, 2-3), which snapped a two-game losing streak, also had a timeout remaining. But coach Rodney Terry decided to let it go.

“Don’t over-coach,” Terry said. “Let those guys do what they do in practice. We went down and won the game.”

On the inbounds after Bridges’ 3-pointer, Hunter passed it to Dylan Disu, returned the ball to the top of the key on the far end, and then drove it all the way before getting a shot before the end. that buzzer, and it’s almost over. beyond the reach of Love’s outstretched right hand.

“I knew I had to get down the court,” said Hunter, who scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the first half. “I looked at the clock. . . . Get a foul or make a layup.”

It was the second consecutive gut punch for the Bears (14-4, 3-2), who lost to Kansas State, 68-64, in overtime on Tuesday night in Manhattan.

“We’re just trying to stay positive in the locker room and stick together,” the freshman said My name is Kobe Walter, who hit three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. “No negative thoughts. Just going back to Waco, back to the lab. Get better and learn from it.”

In a back-and-forth game that featured 10 ties and 21 lead changes, Texas pulled it out despite going 0-for-8 from 3-point distance in the second half after hitting 9-of-11 from distance in the first half. to take a one-point lead, 42-41.

Both teams had an explosive first half, with Baylor shooting 55.6% overall (15-of-27) and 7-of-12 from 3-point range.

The Longhorns built an eight-point lead, 36-28, with a Disu 3-pointer late in the first half, but Walter and Jayden Nunn drilled 3-pointers in a 13-4 run that made it a one-point game, 42-41, at the break.

“In games like this, when it’s a big matchup, everybody’s going to perform,” Walter said. “I think that showed in the first half, back and forth, back and forth. But I think it’s fun. It’s fun to play in that environment. Bud, I’d rather go out with a win.”

The Bears got their biggest lead of the game, 58-52, on a three-point play by Bridges with 12:25 minutes left in the game. But they missed six straight shots until Bridges’ 3-pointer from the left wing.

“I know we got to the line, so that’s a good gain,” Drew said. “We had a couple of decent looks. But most of it was a game of seconds. Yves (Missi), shot clock violation; they got one. It was an inch here, an inch there, and everything was different

“But we’ve got to do a better job of executing down low. We’re 5-3 in close games, so it’s not like we’re not good in close games. But on the road, you’re there to be better.”

Bridges was 5-of-9 from distance and scored 17 points, while Nunn and Love had 15 and 10 points, respectively. RayJ Dennis scored only two points, but he had eight assists and only two turnovers in 34 minutes.

Disu added 19 points, Max Abmas 15 and Kalin Shedrick 10 for the Longhorns, who scored 12 second-chance points and finished with a 13-2 advantage in fast-break points. Baylor won the tight rebounding battle, 26-24, and shot 50% from beyond the arc, hitting 11-of-22.

“One-possession games, you’ve got to get 50-50 balls, you’ve got to get rebounds,” Drew said. “They had 12-7 second-chance points. That’s usually something we do. To me, that’s the biggest thing that hurt us today. to them.”

With third-ranked Kansas downed by West Virginia, 91-85, the Jayhawks (15-3, 3-2) and Bears fell into a five-way tie for third in the Big 12 behind league leaders Texas. Tech (15-3, 4-1) and Kansas State (14-4, 4-1).

After the midweek bye, Baylor will host No. 19/22 TCU (13-4, 2-2) at 3 pm next Saturday, Jan. 27. The Horned Frogs dropped their second straight loss to No. 24 Iowa. State, 73-72, and will play on the road at Oklahoma State on Tuesday before traveling to Waco.

World Nation News Desk
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