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Baylor's winning streak ends in 74-69 loss to Texas

The Bears fought hard after a dismal first half to get the lead to 1 with 90 seconds to go, but Texas held them off for the home win.

Dan Friend-USA TODAY Sports

Probably needless to say, but I'm a lot happier with the result of this game after having decided not to turn it off at halftime.  After going down 15 at halftime in a game eerily reminiscent of that which occurred in Lubbock earlier this year, Baylor outscored the Texas by double digits the rest of the way, actually getting the lead down to 1 with 1:37 to go.  Texas got the benefit of yet another awful call (the should-have-been offensive foul on Isaiah Taylor), Kenny Chery took a bad shot that got blocked, and that was that.  The hole dug in the first half (not entirely by ourselves) just proved too big.

For Baylor, even with the final shot that Cameron Ridley blocked with ease, the story of the offense was definitely PG Kenny Chery, the leading scorer in the game with a career-high 27 points.  For Texas, it was Javan Felix, who finished 7-9 from 3 for all 21 of his points.  Cory Jefferson added 14 points and 12 rebounds and Cameron Ridley 20 and 10 for their respective teams.  Isaiah Austin, who had been coming on lately in Baylor's winning streak, finished with a disappointing 7 points on 1-10 shooting from the field.  He's probably never going to be able to match up physically with a guy like Ridley, who is just so much stronger it's almost ridiculous.

Because I didn't really expect to win this game going in, my appreciation of the team hasn't changed much.  We saw at times flashes of a team that knows exactly what and how to do what it wants to do.  At other times, the phrase "chickens with their heads cut off" comes springing to mind.  Taurean Prince played well in keeping things close in the first half before Cory got it going in the second.  We just never put it all together long enough to make up the gap.  All in all, we lost by five in a game where the spread was 4.5.  It really is amazing how that works.  From the post-game coverage, it seems I wasn't alone in expecting a Texas win; ESPN's Joe Lunardi had us in the Tournament (and not part of the Last 4 In) before and didn't change after the loss.  That's good.  Baylor has 3 games remaining in the regular season, 2 of which will take place at home, to get the 2 wins that should secure our fate.

Bears Basketball Schedule

Next 5 Games

Texas Tech Sat 03/01 12:30 PM CST
Iowa St. Tue 03/04 6:00 PM CST
@ Kansas St. Sat 03/08 12:30 PM CST

Last 5 Games

@ Texas Wed 02/26 L 69 - 74
@ West Virginia Sat 02/22 W 88 - 75
Oklahoma St. Mon 02/17 W 70 - 64
Kansas St. Sat 02/15 W 87 - 73
@ TCU Wed 02/12 W 91 - 58

Baylor should win this weekend at Texas Tech, giving us a chance to split our last two games heading into the Big 12 Conference Tournament.  If that happens, a win there should be enough in the strongest conference in college basketball, to make the NCAA Tournament.  We'll see.  Fankhauser has a much more informative post in the queue about all of it.