AUSTIN (KXAN) — The No. 12 Texas Longhorns had a shot at clinching at least a share of the Big 12 Conference regular season title, but the Baylor Bears had other plans Monday at Moody Center.
The Bears handed the Longhorns its second loss at home this season 63-54 with tough defense, causing 17 Texas turnovers and scoring 17 points off of them.
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“I didn’t have my team ready to play tonight,” Longhorns head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We were playing for a championship, and for whatever reason, we weren’t ready to go, and that’s my responsibility. Baylor was tougher tonight.”
Taylor Jones lead the way for Texas with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting with 13 rebounds, but Baylor’s defense in the post created a lot of problems for the Longhorns. Quick double teams swarmed both Jones and DeYona Gaston when they were able to get an entry pass, and that led to a good share of Baylor’s possessions. Baylor had seven steals and made 14 layups.
Texas scored on 26 of their 61 possessions and had a 27.9% turnover rate. Baylor scored on 29 of 61 possessions and didn’t turn the ball over nearly as much at 19.7%.
For Baylor, Darianna Littlepage-Buggs scored a game-high 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 15 points in the first half. Sarah Andrews poured in 17 points and Ja’mee Ashberry chipped in 10 points.
Baylor head coach Nikki Collen said her team can compete with anybody because of the way the team grinds and fights through adversity.
“That’s who we need to be,” Collen said. “We don’t have a person we can go to and take over a game when we aren’t playing well. We’ve got to be tough.”
For the Longhorns, who outrebounded the Bears 41-35, Rori Harmon had 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists. Shaylee Gonzales chipped in 10 points with a pair of 3-pointers. Texas shot 3-for-11 from 3-point range and scored just 18 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds.
Texas was limited with its lineup with Sonya Morris still out with an injury and Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda was also not available due to injury. Only six Longhorns played more than 18 minutes.
Jones said she didn’t recognize the team that blasted Oklahoma by more than 20 points in Norman last week.
“It’s extremely disappointing and eye-opening,” Jones said. “We have a lot of growing up to do in a few days.”
Texas (22-8, 13-4 Big 12 Conference) is now a half-game ahead of Oklahoma in the league standings, and the Sooners can tie them with a win over Kansas State on Wednesday. The Longhorns end the regular season on the road against Kansas State on Saturday. Baylor (19-10, 10-7) takes on West Virginia in its last regular season game Saturday.