Aaron Bruce (File Photo)
Jan. 27, 2007
Baylor's gutsy upset bid fell just short as Texas topped the Bears 84-79 Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas (15-5, 5-1) has won 22 in a row at home and 18 in a row over Baylor (11-9, 1-6).
Baylor got within three on Henry Dugat's twisting layup over three defenders before Kevin Durant hit four free throws over the final 12 seconds to seal the win.
Durant scored 34 points and A.J. Abrams finished with 22 points for the Longhorns.
Aaron Bruce hit five 3-pointers and scored 25 to lead the Bears, who dropped their fourth straight loss.
Baylor led much of the game and Bruce's consecutive 3-pointers after Texas had rallied to tie put Baylor up 60-54. Durant hit a 3-pointer and Conner Atchley's putback gave Texas its first lead of the second half at 63-62 with just under 7 minutes to play.
Durant was 9-of-18 shooting from the field and 13-of-15 on free throws. It was Durant's fourth 30-point game in Big 12 play. He also had nine rebounds.
Durant's big numbers belie his slow start. He swished his first jump shot, then airballed a 3-pointer. Bruce, meanwhile, had 12 points as Baylor took a 42-36 lead into halftime.
And by slowing the pace and using their size to keep Texas in a halfcourt game, the Bears effectively neutralized the Longhorns' speedy breaks in transition. Baylor shot 55 percent from the floor in the first half and dominated scoring in the paint for the game, 40-16.
Durant scored seven in the first five minutes of the second and Baylor watched its size advantage start to dwindle as Diene stayed on the bench with a twisted ankle and Lowers picked up his fourth foul with 14 minutes left. Two minutes later, Durant's long 3-pointer from the right wing tied it 54-54.
But as soon as Texas grabbed the mometum, a malfunctioning shot clock took it away when officials stopped the game for more than five minutes. Bruce hit consecutive 3-pointers coming out of the break and Baylor quickly seized the lead again.
Durant hit another 3-pointer and Texas grabbed the lead, 63-62, on Atchley's floater over Lowers' outstretched arm. Abrams' fifth 3-pointer put Texas up 66-62 with six minutes left.
Atchley hit another layup and two free throws to stretch the lead to 71-64. The Longhorns led the rest of the way.