No. 15 Baylor hadn't lost at home against an unranked team in more than two years



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WACO, Texas — No. 15 Baylor hadn't lost at home to an unranked team in more than two years. This was only the second time in 20 Big 12 seasons the Bears got this deep into a season still with a share of the conference lead.

Connor Lammert and the Texas Longhorns quickly changed all of that.

"It was frustrating but as a player you can't get too down or too up," said Taurean Prince, who had 18 points for Baylor.

Lammert, a 6-foot-11 forward, had 15 points, and his third 3-pointer was a clutch shot in the final minute as the Longhorns got a 67-59 victory Monday night.

Isaiah Taylor added 12 points and nine assists for the Longhorns (15-7, 6-3) moved within a half-game of No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 14 West Virginia for the conference lead. They have won six of their last seven games.

"We are playing with a lot of confidence right now," Lammert said. "Earlier in the season we were not winning and we tried to figure out what was the problem. We came together as a team."

Baylor (17-5, 6-3) had been part of a three-way tie before its second home loss in three games, having fallen to Oklahoma on Jan. 23. The last unranked team before Texas to win in the Ferrell Center had been West Virginia in January 2014.

"Offensively, they don't turn it over. They only had 10 turnovers and we only got seven points off their turnovers," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "They get great guard play. Their bigs don't turn it over. That helps them too. Twenty-one assists and 10 turnovers, you win a lot of games with that offense."

Texas had an assist on all 21 of its field goals against the Bears, who came in as the nation's top assist team with 20.3 per game. They had 13 on 19 field goals Monday night.

Rico Gathers, the Bears' big man who was being watched by a scout from the NFL's Buffalo Bills, had 20 points and eight rebounds.

After Gathers fouled out with 1:27 left, Kerwin Roach hit the second of two free throws. After Prince had a turnover, Lammert's 3 from the right wing with 44 seconds left put the Longhorns up 62-56.

Baylor tied the game three times in the second half but could never get the lead again. The Bears led for less than 2 minutes, all in the game's opening stretch.

Taylor exchanged words with Gathers after a whistle on a play just over 3 1/2 minutes into the second half when Gathers also picked up a personal foul.

"Just two aggressive teams coming to compete," Taylor explained. "Sometimes emotions flare. ... Both teams stayed poised."

But Texas got no points out that, and Baylor tied the game at 37-all on a step-back 3-pointer by Prince with 15 minutes left.

The Bears got even twice more, both times after acrobatic baskets that became three-point plays.

Medford was falling back when he put up a high arcing shot off the glass with his right hand while being fouled, and made the free throw. Gathers was leaning forward, and almost parallel to the ground, when he flipped up a shot with his right hand off the glass. He was fouled, and made the free throw that tied the game at 43-all with 11:45 left.

The Longhorns went ahead to stay on Taylor's tiebreaking baseline layup with 11:18 left.

FAMILIAR FOES

It was the 246th game in what is the longest men's basketball series for both teams. Texas has a 162-84 advantage, though Baylor has won nine of the last 15 since the Longhorns had won 24 in a row. The series dates to the 1905-06 season, and the teams have been in the same conference since 1915 — from the Southwest Conference to the 20 seasons in the Big 12.

TIP-INS

Texas: The Longhorns are 4-2 against Top 25 teams this season. ... After consecutive double-doubles, Prince Ibeh was held to nine points and six rebounds.

Baylor: Prince had an impressive block when he got back to swat away a dunk attempt by Demarcus Holland, who had a steal and an apparent breakaway with about 5 minutes left in the first half.

UP NEXT

Texas hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.

Baylor is at No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday.

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