In a close contest that Rodney Terry’s squad remained out in front of for most of the action, the No. 10 Texas Longhorns made key plays in key moments on Monday to outlast the No. 11 Baylor Bears, 76-71.
Here are a few quick thoughts from Texas’ latest ranked win.
Sir’Jabari Rice and Timmy Allen led the Longhorns in a big way. The former, just days after dropping a season-high 21 against No. 4 Tennessee, matched that with another 21 piece on Monday courtesy of an incredibly efficient shooting display — he sank 4-5 threes and 7-8 from the charity stripe, with many of his points came in key moments late as answers to punches Baylor tried to throw. Meanwhile, Allen was nails from the jump, efficiently working his mid-range jumper (7-10 from the field) and four free throws to total 18 points to complement another four dimes and six boards. On a night when Texas didn’t get much from most of the Longhorns, these two were massive.
This was a fairly commendable performance from Tyrese Hunter. Was it efficient? Absolutely not. He was just 5-17 from the field and a worse 3-11 from deep, but on a cold night for Marcus Carr, Hunter remained assertive and in the end, his 13 points — his most since dropping 29 against Kansas State on Jan. 3 — were absolutely necessary. Ideally, this can be a stepping stone to help get Hunter out of the offensive funk he’s been in.
Marcus Carr. Clutch. Never mind that this absolutely wasn’t his night. Entering the final minute, he was just 1-7 from the field with three points, but in one of the game’s biggest moments, he attacked and drilled the step-back jumper to give Texas the three-point edge with less than 30 seconds remaining. When it mattered, Texas’ best player did what he does best — get a bucket.
This was a big win for Texas. Amid a grueling four-game streak vs. top-11 opponents, every win is significant, and this one felt that way. Texas bounced back from a lackluster showing in Tennessee over the weekend, notched yet another top-15 and Q1 win, and gets back on the right side of momentum before a two-game road trip to Kansas vs. the No. 7 Wildcats and No. 8 Jayhawks.