AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — With No. 1 Baylor’s offense struggling, the team’s defense locked in and helped the Bears win again.
Baylor, producing its lowest point total of the season, beat Texas 52-45 Monday night for its 21st straight victory — one short of the Big 12 record set by Kansas in 1997.
Baylor leads the Big 12 in scoring defense and ranks third in field goal defense. The Bears rank fourth nationally in kenpom.com’s defensive efficiency ratings.
“Defensively, they are phenomenal,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “They have such a physicality about them.”
MaCio Teague scored 11 points, and Devonte Bandoo added 10 for the Bears.
Baylor (22-1, 11-0 Big 12) wrested control with a 13-0 push that put the Bears ahead 42-27 with 9:28 remaining.
“That was the difference in the game,” Smart said.
Five players scored for Baylor during that stretch.
“We share the ball,” Teague said.
Texas helped out with three turnovers and failed to score for a period of 5:06.
Matt Coleman led Texas with 11 points, and Andrew Jones scored 10. Texas shot a season low 30.5% from the field, missing 14 of 17 3-point attempts.
“We missed a lot of good shots,” Texas guard Courtney Ramey said.
Texas (14-10, 4-7), which is 0-11 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams, trailed by 16 with less than seven minutes left. Then Coleman and Jones hit consecutive 3-pointers, and Jones made a three-point play and suddenly the Longhorns found themselves down by seven.
But Jared Butler responded by making an open 3-pointer with 4:49 left after Baylor navigated through Texas’ defensive press. A big shot on a night when the Bears hit just 34 percent.
Defense might carry the Bears, but they made some critical plays on offense as well.
“Great chemistry, great leadership,” coach Scott Drew said. “They trust each the other. Each of them making plays for each other, because they know if they have good looks, they’ll knock them down.”
Baylor led 22-16 after a first half of inept offense. The Bears shot 34.5% from the field, including 2 for 8 on 3-pointers, and missed on their only free throw attempt.
Texas was even worse, converting 24 percent, missing 5 of 6 3-pointers and 3 of 4 free throws while. The Longhorns also committed seven turnovers while producing their lowest point total in a half this season and the fewest against Baylor.
“They deserve a lot of credit,” Smart said. “They defended.”
Baylor: The Bears limited Texas to its second lowest point total of the season. The lowest was during a 59-44 loss at Baylor. … The Bears’ winning streak began after they lost their second game of the season to Washington, 67-64, after leading by three with less than two minutes remaining.
Texas: Smart is 2-9 against Baylor during his five seasons at Texas. Smart is in jeopardy of missing the tournament for the third time in five seasons. His predecessors at Texas, Tom Penders and then Rick Barnes, combined to miss the tournament three times in 27 seasons.
Texas played without Jase Febres (left knee) and Kai Jones (sprained left ankle). Both were injured in the second half Saturday against Texas Tech. Febres started 23 games this season and Jones the last four. Smart said both were still being evaluated, but that Febres did not suffer ligament damage.
Baylor is at home against No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday. This is their first meeting of the season.
Texas is at Iowa State on Saturday. The Longhorns beat the Cyclones 72-68 on Feb. 1 in Austin.