In one of the biggest games in recent Erwin Center history, the No. 2 Baylor Bears remained undefeated thanks to 54.9-percent shooting from the field and a second-half run that buried the No. 6 Texas Longhorns on Tuesday.
Redshirt junior guard Andrew Jones did his best to single-handedly keep the Longhorns in the game with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, many of them purely individual efforts, but the Bears backcourt duo of Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell combined to score 48 points on 19-of-31 shooting (61.2 percent), including 8-of-15 from three-point range (53.3 percent).
Texas spent most of the game chasing Baylor — the Bears opened the contest with an 8-0 run and while the Longhorns battled back to within four points late in the first half after going down by as many as 11 points, Mitchell responded with a big three just before halftime.
After the break, threes from Jones and freshman forward Greg Brown III helped spur a 13-4 run to open the second half, giving Texas its first lead of the game at 47-45 and forcing a timeout by Baylor head coach Scott Drew prior to the under-16 timeout.
The lead barely last more than a minute. A dunk and two made threes had pushed the Bears back in front when Brown dunked on Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua to cut the lead to four. But Brown was called for a technical foul for taunting Tchamwa Tchatchoua and Baylor took advantage by making both free throws. After Mitchell made two layups in a row, the lead was back up to 10 points with 12:19 remaining.
With the Bears continuing to make shots at a high rate, the final opportunities for the Horns to narrow the lead came at the free-throw line, but led by 2-of-8 shooting overall from senior Jericho Sims, Texas missed seven of its eight second-half free throws.
As Shaka Smart’s team started to press late in the game, Baylor was able to consistently get out and finish in transition to push the lead as high as 15 points down the stretch.
Texas falls to 11-4 overall and 5-3 in Big 12 play with its first double-digit loss of the season. As Baylor remained undefeated, any hopes the Longhorns had to catch the Bears during the regular season took a big hit on Tuesday.
The next scheduled game is Saturday in Stillwater against Oklahoma State.