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Texas 74, Baylor 69

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AUSTIN, Texas — After dropping a pair of games on a rough road trip to Iowa State and Kansas last week, the No. 24 Texas Longhorns returned home to wrestle one away from the pesky Baylor Bears.

The Longhorns saw an 18-point lead dissolve to one, but Texas held on for a 74-69 victory over Baylor on Wednesday at the Frank Erwin Center.

With Texas clutching a 70-69 advantage in the final minute, Longhorns guard Isaiah Taylor went to the elbow, spun away from Baylor guard Kenny Chery and hit a wide-open bank shot to boost the Longhorns’ margin back to three with 47 seconds left.

Baylor would not score again, which Texas center Cameron Ridley made sure of with a vital block of a Chery jumper in the lane.

Chery finished with a game-high 27 points, but could not bring the Bears all the way back.

Texas guard Javan Felix hit 7 of 9 3-pointers to lead the Longhorns with 21 points. Ridley finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

After shooting 25 percent from the field in the first half, Baylor warmed up to start the second half, hitting 6 of its first 8 shots and cut Texas’ 15-point lead at the break to four when guard Brady Heslip hit a 3-pointer at the 14:24 mark.

Chery hit three treys in the first 11 minutes of the second half and Bears forward Royce O’Neale’s 3-pointer at the 8:56 mark sliced the Longhorns’ lead down to two.

However, Baylor failed to tie it before Texas seized momentum again.

Longhorns forward Jonathan Holmes made a dazzling, back-to-the-basket reverse layup. Then a Heslip air ball on one end, signaling the end of the Bears’ hot streak, was followed by Holmes jumper on the next trip down the floor put Texas ahead 67-60.

Longhorns guard Isaiah Taylor followed with a jumper to cap an 8-1 run that proved vital to Texas’ cause.

Texas threatened to bury Baylor early as guard Javan Felix threw in a pair of 3-pointers and center Cameron Ridley completed a three-point play during the Longhorns’ 12-1 run in the first five minutes.

Baylor guard Kenny Chery fought back, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and adding a jumper during a 10-3 answer that cut Texas’ lead to 15-13 with 12:52 left in the first half.

But Felix stayed hot and Texas guard Isaiah Taylor and Ridley pitched in to help the Longhorns establish an 18-point lead when Felix hit his fifth 3-pointer of the first half at the 2:20 mark.

Felix was 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes, accounting for all of his 15 points and propelling Texas. Taylor had five assists in the first half and began connecting on his preferred floater shot to score six points in the half.

Chery scored 14 for Baylor in the first half but the rest of the Bears shot 17 percent and Texas led 32-27 at the break.

NOTES: Texas defeated Baylor 74-60 in Waco in the teams’ first meeting in Big 12 play this season. It was the Longhorns’ third in a streak of four-straight games of defeating ranked opponents. … Texas G Isaiah Taylor scored his season-high 27 points in the Longhorns’ first game against Baylor this season. … Entering the game, Baylor F Cory Jefferson needed four points to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career and reached that with a put back with 13:32 left in the first half. He is the 28th player to reach 1,000 points at Baylor. … Texas coach Rick Barnes came into the game with a 13-2 record against Baylor in games played in Austin.

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Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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