Baylor (17-1, 5-1) crushed Texas (7-11, 1-5) 74-64 to keep pace in the race for a Big 12 title. Johnathan Motley was incredible as he posted 32 points and 20 rebounds.
Despite getting absolutely crushed, Texas opened the game playing well. Jarrett Allen and Shaq Cleare scored eight early points. They established deep position and were effective. Cleare finished with 14 points, but he fouled out with ten minutes remaining in the game.
The Bears had just four points in the first 6:30. Not long after, Manu Lecomte nailed a 3-point shot that foreshadowed how quickly the game was about to blow open for Baylor.
Baylor dominated Texas to end the half. The Bears hit four 3-point shots, including this one from Al Freeman:
Nuni Omot was also excellent. Omot had nine points in the first half. That was especially important as the Bears played without King McClure, who was out with a knee injury. Omot made key shots and threw down a big dunk:
The Bear’s defense was superb after struggling to contain Cleare and Allen early. The Bears timed double teams well and left poor shooters. The Longhorns had 11 turnovers in the first half.
Texas seemed like they might make a run in the second half. Baylor had a few possessions where they couldn’t get much going when Motley went to the bench. But then Jo Lual-Acuil hit Omot for an alley-oop, and Lecomte threw a no look pass to Jake Lindsey for a layup.
The Longhorns were abysmal from 3-point range. They finished just 2 of 19. That wasn’t too surprising. Texas entered the game 315th on KenPom in 3-point percentage and the performance tonight was a another sign this Texas team is just worse than Baylor.
This game was everything that makes Baylor a Final Four contender. The guards worked well and hit shots when they needed to. The Bear’s defense was often stifling, and Johnathan Motley showed why he’s one of the best players in the country. Motley was simply incredible. Motley dominated from everywhere, outworked the Longhorns for rebounds, and threw down this incredible slam:
And for possibly the only time ever, I predicted the exact score of the game in this preview. Johnathan Motley has truly inspired us all.
This Baylor team is special. Teams like this don’t come around often, but with this unit, wins like this will.