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Baylor Beats Texas 75-64 ; Clinches 3rd Seed in Big 12 Tournament

Baylor will face Kansas State on Thursday

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor (25-6, 12-6) beat Texas (10-21, 4-14) 75-64 in Austin to secure the 3rd seed in the Big 12 Tournament. The win means Baylor tied its best ever Big 12 finish and highest number of Big 12 wins.

Jake Lindsey’s career high 16 point day—on 6-of-7 shooting—powered the Bears to victory. Manu Lecomte missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. Baylor’s point guard is recovering from an ankle sprain he aggravated against Iowa State. He was listed as day-to-day entering the contest, so there’s hope he’ll be back by Thursday’s game. In the meantime, the last two games—with wins over West Virginia and at Texas—showed Baylor is still a formidable team if they need to rely on Lindsey and Chuck Mitchell.

Texas did a good job getting dribble penetration against the zone. But Baylor adjusted to the Longhorn’s unbalanced scoring attack. Jarrett Allen and Shaq Cleare scored Texas’ first 18 points. Yet, the Texas guards, as they have been for much of the season, were not good enough. The Longhorns opened 1-of-7 from deep—not too surprising for a 3-point offense ranked 339th on KenPom.

The Bears pulled away in the first half. Mitchell had nine points and started 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Johnathan Motley and King McClure both added nine as well. McClure did an excellent job getting into the paint and finishing against Texas’ long arms. The Bears ended the first half 6-of-11 from deep, which is a mark that makes Baylor just about unbeatable, and certainly unbeatable for a team as bad as Texas.

But Texas opened the second half on a 6-0 run. Johnathan Motley missed a few close looks, while Jarrett Allen made his. But over time most things return to normal. This game did. Motley hit a couple of big shots after drawing fouls. Lindsey navigated the paint and made floaters. On defense, Baylor threw double teams to make someone other than Jarrett Allen beat them. Nobody else could for a long stretch.

Terry Maston missed the game due to a one game suspension. He should be back on Thursday.

In the end, Baylor was simply too good for Texas. Motley had 17 points and 16 rebounds. Another stellar performance against Texas for him, even on a day his shot wasn’t quite falling. McClure had 12 points. That makes the third consecutive game Baylor has received excellent play from the shooting guard position. And Lindsey and Mitchell combined to shoot 5-of-7 from deep. The Bears finished the day 9-of-20 from 3-point land.

Baylor will play Kansas State at 8:00 on Thursday in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. The Wildcats likely need that victory to make the NCAA Tournament. It will be a tough test for the Bears. But they’ve passed plenty of those this year.