Big 12 Tournament 2014 | Baylor dominates Texas 86-69

Jamie Squire

The final score, though lopsided, ended up not showing the full measure of the dominance by Scott Drew's squad tonight over Rick Barnes and the Longhorns.

Baylor did the more recent sort of Baylor things tonight, winning Scott Drew his 202nd game (a program record) and earning themselves a place in the Big 12 Tournament championship game with a 86-69 win over Texas.  If they can win tomorrow night's game over Iowa State, who beat the #1 seed Kansas Jayhawks earlier in the evening, they'll do what only one school has ever done before: win the Big 12 in football, men's basketball, and women's basketball in the same year (OU 2000-2001).  If that happens, Baylor will be the highest seed ever to win the Big 12 Tournament.

Tonight, the Bears did the deed with a combination of efficient offense and outstanding defense, the latter earning praise from ESPN's Fran Fraschilla at numerous points in the game.  Baylor apparently adjusted our typical zone defense to take away the foul line area that Texas (and others) have used to torch us in the past, and the results were undeniable, especially in the first half.  Unlike last night, the Bears were even able to continue building on their 15-point halftime lead, eventually leading by as many as 24.

The player of the game for Baylor on offense was most certainly senior Cory Jefferson, who paced the Bears in the first half with 16 points and 8 rebounds and finished with 24 and 13.  Brady Heslip scored 24 of his own on 6-11 from 3.  Isaiah Austin provided the defensive punch with 7 blocks, running his total in the Tournament to a record 16 in 3 games.

I can't say enough about where this team is after its 6th win in a row.  From the darkest days of February, we hoped we might see Baylor play as well as it could.  You're seeing that now.  Isaiah and Cory are dominating the inside, Brady and Kenny Chery are hitting shots from the outside, and Royce O'Neale holds it all together.  Behind them, you have the ultimate hustle player in Rico Gathers coming off the bench.  It's an amazing set when it all clicks, and it's clicking right now.

Congrats to the Bears and Coach Drew for another huge victory tonight.   We'll see ISU tomorrow night for another chance at a Big 12 title! It's the matchup I predicted three days ago, but let's hope it goes the other way...

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