Some people say everyone deserves a second chance. On Saturday night, Texas couldn’t have agreed more.
The Longhorns netted 31 second chance points en route to a 60-54 win over Baylor at the sold out Ferrell Center. Tristan Thompson led Texas with 19 points and 13 rebounds, nine on the offensive side.
As a team, the Longhorns outmuscled the Bears to win the offensive glass battle, 23-7, and grab 44 total rebounds to Baylor’s 29.
“I apologize; our team apologizes. We have not been beaten up that bad on the boards in a long time. I am very disappointed in our efforts on the boards,” head coach Scott Drew said.
Gary Johnson added 15 points and Jordan Hamilton 14.
It was a bittersweet night for senior LaceDarius Dunn, who sank a free throw in the first half to pass Andre Emmett as the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer. Dunn finished with 22 points on 8 of 19 shooting, his highest percentage from the field in four games.
“The record was sweet; a great achievement. I am thankful for it, but it was a tough loss,” Dunn said.
Even Dunn knew Thompson stole the show in ESPN’s nightcap game.
“I didn’t come out and match the intensity of Thompson,” Dunn added.
Johnson guarded Dunn closely all night, never allowing him to get comfortable. Johnson asked his coaches to guard Dunn to help prevent Dunn from posting up and hurting the Longhorns inside as he did in the teams’ Feb. 12 matchup.
Freshman Perry Jones III was one point shy of a double-double, as he had 11 rebounds and nine points.
Jones III and the team took a simple message from the game.
“If we don’t get tougher, we aren’t going anywhere,” Jones III said.
Junior J’mison Morgan’s dunk gave the Bears a 36-27 lead four minutes into the second half. But Texas then rattled off three straight baskets, two of which came from offensive rebounds, to pull back to within 36-34. Johnson later tied the game at the second half’s midway point with a pair of free throws.
Thompson seized the lead for Texas, 39-38, after yet another offensive rebound led to free throw opportunities.
“I know [at] 31 to six,” Drew said about the offensive rebounding margin, “we could not have missed that many block outs. We have not been physically dominated like that since the first couple of years [I] was here when we had four guards.”
Texas offensively out-rebounded Baylor 12-1 in the second half.
Just before committing his fifth foul, junior Qunicy Acy threw down a dunk to cut Texas’ lead to 50-49 with 3:33 remaining. The Bears couldn’t rebound a missed Hamilton jumper, however, and Alexis Wangmene grabbed the board and drew two free throws.
Wangmene got another offensive rebound less than a minute later, making another two free throws to put the Longhorns up 54-49.
The Longhorns shot just 16 of 27 from the charity stripe, but the damage was done through foul trouble on the Bears side.
Acy, who recorded six points and a rebound, fouled out with three minutes left.
“Quincy’s our energy guy, our tough guy,” Drew said. “You miss him in a tough game.”
Morgan and sophomore point guard A.J. Walton also played with four fouls, Walton picking up his fourth with 13:25 left in the game.