No. 24 Baylor Stuns No. 6 Texas In OT
Jan. 30, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas (AP)--Given the rarity of Big 12 road wins for Baylor--let alone wins over Texas--it was no wonder a small group of fans stayed high up in the rafters Saturday to rain down a few more chants on the departing Longhorns.
"Let's go, Baylor!"
It's been a long time since Bears backers felt such pride in Austin.
The chance to cheer long after the final buzzer was too much to resist after freshman guard A.J. Walton, a 47 percent free-throw shooter, made three of four foul shots in the final 17 seconds of overtime to send No. 24 Baylor to an 80-77 victory over No. 6 Texas.
It was Baylor's first regular-season win over Texas since 1998 and it came after the Bears snapped a 24-game losing streak in the series in last season's Big 12 tournament.
"This is a little better feeling up here than normal," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "You saw the heart of our players today."
Texas has lost three of four since reaching No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history.
Baylor led 77-76 before Walton made the second of two free throws. Texas' Justin Mason made one of two before Walton got to the line again with 10 seconds left and calmly hit both.
"I just stepped to the line, cleared it out and knocked out the free throws," Walton said.
Texas had one last chance to tie it but Avery Bradley's 3-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Tweety Carter led the Bears (16-4, 3-3 Big 12) with 27 points. Walton scored 14 and made six of seven free throws. The Bears also scored 27 points off 18 Texas turnovers.
Texas (18-3, 4-2) rallied from 14 points down in the second half to take the lead late in regulation. Damion James scored 20 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, but he fouled out in the final minute of overtime.
The Longhorns could have used Walton's steely nerves at the line. One of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country, Texas went 19 of 31 against the Bears and misfired on several late shots.
"If we want to win, they're going to have to figure it out," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "I wish I could come up with a remedy for it."
One of those misses, by the Longhorns' best shooter, J'Covan Brown (94 percent), would have given Texas a three-point lead with 16 seconds left in regulation.
"I walked to the line with confidence. It looked perfect, but the next thing you know it was short," Brown said.
Given the opportunity to tie it with a basket, Baylor sent the game into overtime when Ekpe Udoh shot a wild airball on a 3-pointer and Anthony Jones was left alone underneath the basket to snag it for an uncontested layup with 0.3 seconds left.
"We got them to shoot the kind of shot we wanted," Barnes said.
Barnes said it was Bradley, a freshman, who lagged off Jones and gave up the easy basket.
"Nobody blocked me out and the ball just fell into my hands," Jones said.
Udoh, 0 for 11 from the field to that point, made Baylor's first three baskets in overtime. He hit a soft hook over Dexter Pittman and converted an easy layup when he drove the lane through a group of Texas defenders.
"He's a leader. He never stopped playing. Never," Drew said.
Brown cut the lead with a 3-pointer for Texas, then turned the ball over, leading to Udoh's dunk.
Two free throws by Walton pushed the Baylor lead to 71-67. Udoh fouled out with 1:12 left and James got Texas to 75-73 with two free throws and a dunk after he stole the ball at midcourt.
Even with his shooting struggles this season, Baylor ended up putting the ball in Walton's hands at the end. That was partly because shooting guard LaceDarius Dunn, an 83 percent free-throw shooter, had fouled out.
Walton didn't even look nervous with the chance to get one of Baylor's biggest wins in a decade.
"A.J. wasn't a freshman at the line at the end," Drew said. "He really came up big. He's a winner."
Texas, which ran out to a 17-0 start, now finds itself battling to stay near the top of the Big 12.
The Longhorns have a quick turnaround with a Monday night game at Oklahoma State before a road trip to rival Oklahoma. After that, No. 2 Kansas comes to Austin.
Pittman had his best offensive game in weeks with 14 points, but grabbed just one rebound. Mason and Dogus Balbay, who had breakout scoring games in a win over Texas Tech, were non-factors against Baylor.
For Baylor, which had lost league road games at Kansas and Kansas State, Saturday's victory makes the Bears look like one of the most dangerous teams in the Big 12.
"This was a great win for us, but it doesn't stop here," Carter said. "We know we can play with anybody."