After a huge home win against one of the top teams in the country its last time out, Texas hopes to have a much easier time against a team it hasn’t lost to in nearly 10 years.
On Saturday, the 11th-ranked Longhorns (20-4, 7-2 Big 12) look to win their 22nd straight game over Baylor when they meet in Waco.
Texas is trying to avoid a letdown following a 72-69 win over No. 3 Kansas on Monday. The win also was the Longhorns’ fourth in a row overall, a run that began with a 80-72 victory over then-No. 25 Baylor on Feb. 2.
“It puts us in control of what we want to do for this season,” said Texas’ A.J. Abrams, who had 14 points against the Jayhawks.
The Bears’ last victory over Texas came at home on Feb. 21, 1998. The Longhorns have since won nine straight in Waco.
Texas’ leading scorer, D.J. Augustin, is coming off a frustrating game against Kansas after he had just 10 points on 1-of-13 shooting from the field. Augustin, who averages 19.3 points, made some crucial contributions late, though. He gave Texas a 62-57 lead with 5:30 left, then stole the ball on the next possession that led to a basket and a seven-point edge.
“I’ve told him many times that I don’t care what he’s done up until the end of the game, but he’s our guy and we’re going to go to him,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “I trust him totally.”
Augustin was held to just nine points on 1-of-7 shooting against Baylor two weeks ago, and he’s averaging just 8.3 points in four career games against the Bears.
After beating Texas A&M 116-110 in five overtimes on Jan. 23, Baylor has dropped four of five including three in a row on the road. The Bears fell 93-83 at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, unable to rally from a 20-point halftime deficit.
Freshman LaceDarius Dunn led Baylor with 26 points while Tweety Carter scored 18. Leading scorer Curtis Jerrells (15.0 points per game), who scored 30 in a loss at Kansas last Saturday, had 13 on 5-of-12 shooting against the Cowboys.
Baylor (17-6, 5-4) allowed Oklahoma State to shoot 52.8 percent from the field, as its defense continues to struggle The Bears’ conference opponents are averaging 82.4 points - highest in the Big 12.
“Defensively, we have to be solid no matter where you’re at,” said coach Scott Drew, whose team is also averaging a conference-leading 81.9 points. “The last few losses, the defense has let us down. We try to outscore people rather than stop them, and that has to change.”
Kevin Rogers had 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss to Texas this month. In three games since then, the junior forward has averaged only 7.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Texas leads the all-time series against Baylor 152-75, including 61-45 in games played in Waco.