Texas-Baylor Preview

The Associated Press

While Texas has a chance to make school history by extending its winning streak, Baylor's sensational start has faded to distant memory since the start of Big 12 play.

The Longhorns seek their third straight victory over a ranked opponent - and fifth in a row overall - while handing the 24th-ranked Bears their longest losing streak in five years Saturday in Waco.

Following an 86-76 victory over then-No. 8 Iowa State last Saturday and a 67-64 win over No. 22 Kansas State on Tuesday, Texas has an opportunity to defeat three consecutive Top 25 teams for the first time in school history.

Jonathan Holmes came through with the buzzer-beating 3-pointer Tuesday as the Longhorns (15-4, 4-2) moved one win away from matching their total from last season. They're also in a second-place tie behind No. 8 Kansas, which hosts the Longhorns on Feb. 1.

"We have put ourselves in a position to control our own destiny," said Holmes, averaging a team-high 12.8 points. "So, we are taking it one game at a time, and like I said we are playing a good Baylor team, so that's what our focus is on right now."

Texas guard Javan Felix, who led the way with 23 points, has stepped up with 17.2 points per game in league play after averaging 10.3 in non-conference action.

Felix had 26 points and nine assists in an 86-79 overtime loss in the most recent meeting in Waco on Jan. 5, 2013, but was scoreless in just four minutes of a 79-70 home win over the Bears on March 4.

Cameron Ridley also has played well, averaging 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks while shooting 20 of 28 from the field in his last three games.

Since surrendering a total of 175 points and 19 of 42 (45.2 percent) shooting from 3-point range while opening Big 12 play with losses to Oklahoma and then-No. 11 Oklahoma State, Texas has limited opponents to 68.3 points per game and 27.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc during its winning streak.

The Longhorns have dropped seven of 10 to their in-state rivals after winning 24 straight in this series from 1999-2009.

The Bears (13-5, 1-4), however, are struggling heading into this matchup as they look to avoid their first four-game losing streak since dropping six straight Jan. 24-Feb. 11, 2009.

Brady Heslip finished with a team-high 19 points, while Cory Jefferson and Isaiah each Austin added 16 as the Bears lost for the fourth time in five league games, 78-68 at Kansas on Monday.

''Three games in a row, none of us are used to it,'' said Heslip, who hit six of Baylor's season-high 13 3-pointers. ''It hurts.''

Despite their hot shooting from beyond the arc, the Bears ended up with a 39.0 percentage overall. They're connecting on 41.3 percent in Big 12 play while giving up a mark of 49.6, a far cry from their 50.4 percentage and 38.8 allowed during a 12-1 non-conference start.

Jefferson, averaging a team-best 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, scored 25, pulled down 10 boards and made a pair of tiebreaking free throws with 50 seconds left in last season's overtime win over the Longhorns.

The Bears were without coach Scott Drew, who served the first game of a school-imposed two-game suspension after an investigation revealed hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages to recruits.

What to Read Next