Motley and No. 25 Baylor roll over No. 24 Texas 78-64
Feb. 20, 2016
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Longhorns have taken a few early punches this season. They usually found a way to fight back.
Not Saturday against Baylor.
Johnathan Motley scored 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting Saturday and the 25th-ranked Bears rolled to an impressive 78-64 victory over No. 24 Texas, handing the Longhorns a rare home loss this season.
Unlike their previous game, when Texas fell into a big hole early against West Virginia and rallied to win, the Longhorns never recovered from a rash of turnovers in the opening minutes. Texas trailed by 18 points at halftime and by as many as 27 in the second half.
Motley didn't miss a shot until rimming out a 14-footer with 1:15 to play. It may have been the longest shot he took all game as the Bears crashed the basket and outscored Texas 50-32 in the paint.
"They got the best of us," Texas guard Isaiah Taylor said. "We didn't respond well at all. We've got to come out with more fight, more sense of urgency. More sense of focus as a team."
Longhorns senior forward Connor Lammert was stunned by the scoring imbalance under the basket.
"We got to own that," he said. "We just let it inside too easy. If you're giving teams layups it's certainly tough to win."
Taurean Prince added 17 points for Baylor (20-7, 9-5), which still has a chance to win the Big 12 regular-season title with four games left. That includes matchups with Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
"We're in that chance to win the Big 12," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "This is that grind time for everybody."
Shaq Cleare scored 14 points to lead Texas (17-10, 8-6), which lost for just the second time at home this season.
Motley, who has become a starter as senior forward Rico Gathers has struggled with the flu, had his second huge game in a week. He scored 27 points in an overtime win over Iowa State and is blossoming just in time for the Bears' stretch run.
"The season's a long season and you have injuries and illnesses. It takes a team to win," Drew said. "To win in the Big 12, you have to have guys stepping up."
Baylor was nearly perfect in the first half. The Bears shot 64 percent and outrebounded Texas 15-5 in the half and Motley had 12 points as the Bears raced to a 40-22 lead.
Texas struggled for long stretches. The Bears' zone defense refused to give Taylor any room to drive to the basket. And even when the Bears sagged off Texas shooters, Texas missed nine of its first 11 3-point attempts.
Motley continued to torment Texas in the second half. Three easy baskets, one on a dunk after Baylor easily broke Texas' press, put the Bears up 48-26. It wasn't until Motley picked up his third foul and went to the bench that Texas got a break defending him.
"I was just attacking the basket and making plays for my teammates," Motley said.
Cleare scored seven straight points for the Longhorns, but it barely made a difference. When Motley returned, he went straight to the basket for another point-blank score that made it 58-33 with just under 12 minutes left.
Baylor: Gathers logged six points in 15 minutes after missing two of the previous three games because of the flu. His comeback could prove big for the Bears whether he returns as a starter or not. The senior is one of the top rebounders in Big 12 history and leads all active Big 12 players with 31 career double-doubles.
Gathers didn't make the team trip to Austin on Friday night and drove down on his own in the morning.
"I was just happy he played," Drew said. "It takes a lot to keep that man out. We're just trying to get him well."
Texas: Taylor, Texas' scoring leader, had one of his worst games against the Bears' zone. Taylor finished with 10 points, four turnovers and just three assists.
Other Big 12 rivalries will get more attention, but few are more intense than Baylor-Texas has been in recent years. On Saturday, Baylor wanted to make a statement after an earlier home loss to the Longhorns.
Asked to rate the Bears' intensity on a scale of one to 10, Prince answered "15."
"It's Baylor-Texas," Prince said. "At the end of the day, they don't like us, we don't' like them."
Baylor hosts No. 2 Kansas on Tuesday.
Texas plays at Kansas State on Monday.