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Bears Wrangle Longhorns at Home, 80-63

The Bears handled Chris Beard’s Longhorns at home on Saturday, but potentially lost a key player for the season in the process.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Baylor Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor Men’s Basketball rallied from a significant emotional blow to dominate the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, winning 80-63. This makes 11 wins in 12 contests versus the team from Austin.

Midway through the first half, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua suffered a non-contact knee injury in which it appeared his leg bent backwards. Initial feedback shared on the TV broadcast categorized the injury as significant.

After losing a veteran leader, the Bears did nothing short of emphatically respond. Leading by 3 at the time Tchatchoua left the game, the Bears extended their lead to 14 over the next 5 minutes.

While the Texas offense is not elite by any means, the Baylor defense held them to a paltry 33% from the field. The Baylor rebounding effort was effective as well, as the Bears out-rebounded the Longhorns by a 42-32 margin.

This game was a testament to the focus and poise that Scott Drew-led teams have shown in the last few years. The Bears lost 20 minutes of high-level front court play and accomplished the following:

  • +12 Def rebounding margin
  • 28 points in the paint
  • 7 blocks
  • Lead the game for 34:39

This was a tremendous impressive win for a team that could have easily lost their will to win after losing one of their most foundational leaders.

Notable performances include a 15-point, 7-assist, 6-rebound day for James Akinjo who was electric on both sides of the court. Adam Flager seems to have returned to his normal form, scoring 20 while shooting 4-5 from long distance.

While the Baylor guards normally grab the headlines, Flo Thamba played the most impressive and impactful game of his Baylor career. The starting center scored 12 points (nearly three times his season average), grabbed 11 rebounds (double his season average), and blocked 4 shots (quadruple his season average). A tremendous effort that steadied the Baylor ship in choppy waters. Baylor will need to lean more on Thamba as it is widely suspected Tchatchoua will miss significant time if not the rest of the season.

Obviously the focus moving forward will be on the health of this team and on Tchatchoua’s knee specifically. OurDailyBears will keep you updated as we learn more.