The No. 24 Texas Longhorns basketball team suddenly finds itself in a pivotal must-win game against the resurgent Baylor Bears.
Two straight road losses have dropped Texas (20-7, 9-5 Big 12) into third place in the Big 12 standings. Meanwhile, Baylor (18-9, 6-8 Big 12) has rattled off four straight conference wins. This game has the appearances of two teams heading in opposite directions.
The Longhorns are coming off an 85-54 drubbing at the hands of No. 8 Kansas. Texas started well before the wheels came off at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Andrew Wiggins rebounded from a dismal shooting day in Austin met to pour in 21 points against a rattled Longhorn squad.
That loss was preceded by an 85-76 defeat at Iowa State. The Longhorns played the entire game from behind and never could find an answer for Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane.
No doubt Texas is glad to be home.
Baylor, on the other hand, has picked a good time to get hot. Following a 2-8 start in conference play the Bears have righted the ship and are looking like an NCAA tournament-caliber team. Baylor is averaging 84 points per game during the win streak. The Bears are one of the nation’s best in rebounding, grabbing nearly 40 rebounds a game.
In the previous meeting between the two schools, Texas grabbed 43 rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds in a 74-60 Texas victory. Cam Ridley had 14 rebounds by himself. It was the coming out party for Texas freshman Isiah Taylor. Taylor slashed the Bears’ defense, driving through the lane at will on his way to a career-high 27 points. In that game, Texas held Baylor’s leading scorer Cory Jefferson to eight points, more than five points below his season average. The Longhorns also shut down sharpshooter Brady Heslip, holding him to just two points, nine points below his season average.
The game tips off at 8:00 PM and will be televised on ESPNU.