By Jim Vertuno
AUSTIN — Quincy Acy had 22 points and 16 rebounds to power No. 13 Baylor to a tough 77-72 win over Texas on Monday night.
Baylor rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half and Acy scored seven straight points to push the Bears to a five-point lead with under three minutes to play. Jonathan Holmes made a 3-pointer to pull Texas within 71-70 before Pierre Jackson made six consecutive free throws to put the game away for Baylor (23-5, 10-5 Big 12).
J’Covan Brown, scored 18 to lead the Longhorns (17-11, 7-8), but had a critical turnover with 12 seconds left that prevented Texas from shooting for a tie.
Brady Heslip scored 12 for Baylor and helped spark the Bears’ rally with three 3-pointers in the second half. While Heslip started the rally, it was Acy who put the Bears on his shoulders and carried them to win with powerful moves in the post and tough rebounding.
Baylor shot just 40 percent but Acy grabbed eight offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive and went 8 of 11 from the free throw line.
Perry Jones III, who has been in a prolonged scoring slump for the Bears of late, gave Baylor its first lead of the second half at 56-55. Acy took over in the final five minutes giving the Bears at 65-63 lead with 4:45 to play.
Jackson put the game away at the free throw line, coolly swishing six straight shots down the stretch. Jackson was 12 of 12 from the line and Baylor was 24 of 29 as a team.
Texas still had a chance to get it to overtime or play for a win in the final seconds. After Jackson made two free throws to make it 73-70 with 28 seconds left, Brown dribbled into a double team on the perimeter, then fired a wild pass that was picked off by Baylor’s A.J. Walton.
The loss comes at a tough time for the Longhorns who are still trying to boost their resume for the NCAA tournament. They have lost eight games by six points or less this season. Texas shot 50 percent in the first half and led 36-26 at halftime. The Longhorns held Baylor to 28 percent shooting and just seven total field goals in the half.
Texas threatened to turn the game into a rout early in the second when Brown, the Big 12’s leading scorer, made a quick catch-and-shoot 3-pointer. But the Bears hung around behind a 3-point shooting burst from Heslip, who made three in the first five minutes of the half, with the last cutting the lead to 46-39.
That flurry kept the Bears close and they eventually caught up. A 3-pointer by Gary Franklin cut the Texas lead to 55-54 and Baylor took its first lead since early in the first half with seven minutes left.
Acy scored seven in a row in that helped push the Bears to a 70-65 lead when he finished tough left-handed layup, drew a foul and made the free throws. Baylor had a chance for the basket because he had grabbed his 15th rebound of the night to help the Bears keep the ball.