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Bears Stumble in Austin 61-59

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Seven players were ejected with two minutes remaining in overtime in a game where Baylor could not find their offensive rhythm.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

With 2 minutes remaining in OT, Royce O'Neale and Isaiah Taylor got into a minor scuffle that quickly escalated into a bench-clearing hullabaloo, resulting in the ejections of Johnathan Motley, John Heard, and Ish Wainwright for Baylor and Cameron Ridley, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Kendal Yancy for Texas. Had Baylor been able to prevent Taylor's game winning floater -- or had Kenny Chery scored his layup on the opposite end -- those ejections might have mattered. As it stands, Texas pulled out a vital win on their part, while Baylor dropped a very winnable game on the road after leading for the vast majority of the game.

From what I've seen, there will be no further suspensions for the ejected players.

Baylor went 2-9 in the overtime period, the only field goals coming on a Taurean Prince put-back slam and a Royce O'Neale three to tie the game at 59 with 1:20.

In their 3rd game in 6 nights, the Bears couldn't find their shooting legs. Baylor was 7 of 19 from deep, most of those hitting the front of the rim. Inside, they were even worse, shooting 14 of 44 for 32%. The Bears never found their shooting rhythm, and surprisingly few of those offensive rebounds turned into points.

It's tough to say that energy was the real problem, though. Baylor collected 46 total rebounds, 21 coming on the offensive end. It was Texas' shot blockers inside that altered a lot of shots and forced our ball handlers to pull up short on drives, which several times resulted in travels.

Prince, O'Neale, and Rico Gathers all played like their usual selves. Gathers recorded his 16th double-double of the season scoring 12 points with 11 rebounds. He was 4-14 from the line, however, a bit of a reversion to his early season self. Prince finished 6-13 for 17 points, while O'Neale contributed 7 rebounds (5 offensive), 2 assists and 3 steals.

Chery and Lester Medford again struggled to score. They were a combined 5-20 with 5 turnovers to 4 assists. Part of the problem for them was the excellent interior defense from the Longhorn's bigs. Ibeh was particularly excellent, moving his feet well to keep up with guards when he got switched onto the perimeter.

Offensively for Texas, Jevan Felix really helped his team rally late. He made 3 threes in the 2nd half and overtime and assisted on the other two. Isaiah Taylor, aside from a floater at the end of the 2nd half and another that was the game-winner, was mostly held in check. He was just 3-6 for the game with 0 assists. He was benched for a good portion of UT's slow, grinding comeback.

Texas ended regulation on a 13-4 run, including the game tying three by Jonathan Holmes, who finished with 7 points.

Here are the stats, per ESPN:


Baylor Bears
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Royce O'Neale, F 2-5 1-2 2-4 5 2 7 2 3 0 2 0 7
Rico Gathers, F 4-14 0-0 4-7 5 6 11 0 0 2 2 3 12
Johnathan Motley, F 3-7 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 2 0 1 3 6
Kenny Chery, G 3-13 1-4 0-0 0 6 6 4 1 0 4 1 7
Lester Medford, G 2-7 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 6
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Taurean Prince, F 6-13 2-5 3-3 4 3 7 0 0 0 1 2 17
Austin Mills, G 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Al Freeman, G 1-3 1-2 1-2 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
21-63 7-19 10-16 21 25 46 6 9 2 11 12 59
33.3% 36.8% 62.5%
Texas Longhorns
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Cameron Ridley, C 2-3 0-0 2-3 0 3 3 0 0 1 1 1 6
Jonathan Holmes, F 3-12 1-5 0-0 1 4 5 0 1 0 2 4 7
Connor Lammert, F 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0
Isaiah Taylor, G 3-6 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 7
Kendal Yancy, G 4-11 1-7 2-3 1 3 4 3 0 0 1 1 11
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Prince Ibeh, C 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 3 0 4 0
Myles Turner, F 4-9 0-1 0-0 2 5 7 1 0 6 0 1 8
Javan Felix, G 3-6 3-5 1-2 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 2 10
Demarcus Holland, G 3-5 2-4 4-4 4 0 4 6 0 0 2 0 12
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
22-54 8-23 9-12 10 20 30 12 2 11 9 15 61
40.7% 34.8% 75.0%

While the way the game was lost was frustrating, it's nothing world ending for Baylor. The Bears are still on track to reach a 4 seed in the NCAA, and a deep Big 12 Tournament run could bump that up to a 3, if not a 2, though that seems unlikely. You win some, you lose some. It took one of Baylor's worst shooting games for Texas to squeak out a win, and as long as Baylor doesn't continue missing open shots, there's not much to worry about going forward.