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Men's Basketball tops No. 24/23 Baylor for fifth straight win

Men's Basketball tops No. 24/23 Baylor for fifth straight win

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WACO, Texas (AP) -- Texas freshman guard Isaiah Taylor scored a career-high 27 points and the Longhorns stretched their winning streak to five games with a 74-60 victory over slumping No. 24 Baylor on Saturday.


The Longhorns (16-4, 5-2 Big 12) have won three consecutive games against Top 25 teams for the first time in school history.


Gary Franklin had 14 points and Taurean Prince added 12 for Baylor (13-6, 1-5), which led only once before losing its fourth straight. It is the Bears' longest losing streak since dropping six in a row five years ago, and they have lost consecutive games at the Ferrell Center after a 13-game home winning streak.


When the Bears got within 46-39 midway through the second half, Taylor scored seven points in a span of 76 seconds.


Taylor's spurt for Texas began with a three-point play, when he drove and made a tough short jumper from the side of the rim while being fouled. Taylor penetrated for another short jumper and then after Prince's slam for Baylor, Taylor scored again to push the lead back to 11 points, 53-42, with 8:47 left.


Jonathan Holmes had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Longhorns and Cameron Ridley had eight points and 14 rebounds.


Texas has a week before playing again, next Saturday at home against Big 12-leading and No. 8 Kansas. The Bears were coming off a 78-68 loss at the Jayhawks last Monday night.


The Longhorns lost their first two Big 12 games, including an 87-74 loss at No. 11 Oklahoma State. They then won games over Texas Tech and West Virginia before their current run through ranked teams. After a 10-point win over then-No. 8 Iowa State last weekend, they won Tuesday night over No. 22 Kansas State when Holmes made a game-winning catch-and-shoot 3-pointer at the buzzer.


It was the 241st meeting against Baylor in the most-played series for both teams whose campuses are located about 100 miles apart along Interstate 35. Texas has a 159-82 series lead, and had won 24 straight until 2009.


Baylor had its only lead on Prince's jumper with 4 1/2 minutes left that made it 22-21.


A minute later, Taylor handed the ball to Prince Ibeh, who had a powerful two-handed slam that put the Longhorns ahead to stay. That basket was set up when Kendal Yancy stole the ball from Prince. Yancy had another steal, also against Prince, that led to two free throws and a 27-22 lead with 2 minutes left.


The Bears were within a point on Brady Heslip's breakway layup, but Martez Walker made the first 3-pointer of the game with 19 seconds left in the first half for a 31-27 lead.


Texas has the Big 12's longest consecutive games streak of made 3-pointers at 776. Baylor is second at 713, though both teams struggled from beyond the arc against each other -- both shot 18 percent.


Baylor was 0 for 9 on 3s in the first half, and finished 3 of 17 after coming into the game as the Big 12 leader shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. Texas was 2 of 11.

Postgame Notes
• With today's win over No. 24 Baylor, Texas has now defeated three consecutive AP Top 25 opponents for the first time in school history (No. 8 Iowa State – Jan. 18, No. 22 Kansas State – Jan. 21).
• Texas is now 159-82 in the all-time series against Baylor, its most-played opponent. The Longhorns are 28-7 against the Bears in the Rick Barnes era.
• UT is off to its best 20-game start (16-4) to a season since 2010-11 (started 17-3). It marks the seventh time in the Rick Barnes era (last 16 years) that the Horns have opened the year with at least 16 wins in their first 20 contests (18-2 in 2009-10; 17-3 in 2003-04, 2005-06, 2010-11; 16-4 in 2002-03, 2007-08).
• Through 20 games last year, the Longhorns had posted a 9-11 overall record, including a 1-6 mark in Big 12 Conference play. This season, the Horns are off to a 16-4 start, including a 5-2 mark in league play.
• The Longhorns held the Bears to just 25.0 percent from the field (6-24) in the first half, including an 0-for-9 mark from three-point range.
• UT held Baylor to 32.1% FG shooting for the game (18-of-56). Texas has held 12 of its first 20 opponents to under 40% FG shooting.
• Texas outshot its opponent from the field (44.8 percent to 32.1 percent) for the 15th time this season and is 14-1 in those games.
• Baylor's 3 three-point field goals made are the fewest by a Texas opponent this season. UT held Baylor to just 17.6 (3-of-17) percent from beyond the arc.
• The Longhorns held the Bears to a season-low 60 points.
• UT posted a 43-40 advantage on the glass. Texas has outrebounded 15 of its first 20 opponents and is 13-2 in those games.
• The Horns are averaging only 9.0 turnovers over the last three games.


Javan Felix
• Dished out a game-high five assists against zero turnovers.


Jonathan Holmes
• Registered double-figure scoring (14 points) for the 15th time this season and 33rd in his career (82 games).
• Dished out four assists against zero turnovers.


Cameron Ridley
• Set a career high with 14 rebounds (previous: 12, twice – last vs. West Virginia, Jan. 13, 2014).
• His 14 rebounds are the most by a Longhorn this season.
• Recorded his seventh double-figure rebounding game this season and 10th in his career (53 games).
• Led Texas in rebounding for the seventh time this season.


Isaiah Taylor
• Set a career high with 27 points (previous: 17 vs. Mercer, Nov. 8).
• Reached double figures in scoring for the 15th time in his career (20 games).
• He was one point shy of matching the top individual game by a Longhorn this season (Javan Felix – 28 vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 4).

Postgame Quotes
Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes
On their perimeter defense…
"I really thought there were a lot of good things that happened. We did foul too much in the first half, but overall it was very good. We have a couple of guys we expect to be aggressive. I think they have a hard time sometimes from really being aggressive to getting somewhere in between. It was a total team defensive win, no question."


On having very few starters on the floor at the end of the first-half…
"It was important, maybe the most important part of the game that we were able to hold it down right there. We have had to deal with that a number of times. We don't want to do it. We changed some defense to try to get out of it without getting some of the guys into further foul trouble. That was an important stretch in the first half."


On the biggest change after winning 16 games all last season and then being 16 after 20 games so far this season…
"I guess I went from dumb to being smarter. The bottom line is the players. These guys have done it all year. They made a commitment as soon as the season was over with and those guys they have been unbelievable. The young guys, you have to give them a lot of credit because they came in with no sense of entitlement."


Texas Guard Isaiah Taylor
On his shot finally starting to fall…
"Jonathan [Holmes] and Javan [Felix] have been tearing up the Big 12. A lot of teams are kind of focusing on them so it's opening lanes up for me. I really struggled with a zone early in the season. In practice I have just been harping on the zone and penetrating gaps and that's what I did today."


On if he was surprised on how open the lane was all day…

"I wasn't totally surprised. Coach Barnes tells us not to keep the ball stagnate, and once we started moving the ball the defense had to shift. Having a shooter like Javan and Jonathan at forward opened up the lane for me."


Texas Forward Jonathan Holmes
On the physical game inside and the message they were trying to send…
"We knew they were a pretty tough team down low. They have some big guys down there, and they are a good rebounding team. We just wanted to establish ourselves on the boards and show them we are tough, too."


On the streak they are on right now…
"It's a pretty big accomplishment, but our mindset all year has been to not be content with how we are doing. We are trying to get better each day in practice. We really haven't done anything yet."


Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew
Opening Statement: "I thought in the first half we played pretty good defense and gave ourselves a chance to hopefully have a lead. We did a good job of getting a couple of their guys in foul trouble, and unfortunately we weren't able to capitalize. I think the toughest thing in coaching is the fine line when a team needs confidence, to give them confidence. I thought against Kansas we came out and shot with confidence, and we tried the same approach today, and we took some bad shots, and that's why we were 0-9 from three in the first half. I thought we were rushing and hurrying them. In the second half we did a better job of sharing the basketball, but I thought Texas played very sound basketball and didn't take bad shots. In the post I thought Cory [Jefferson] and Isaiah [Austin] did a good job of contesting shots and making it tough on them, but usually Cory, Isaiah and Rico [Gathers] aren't gonna go 5 for 21. I think Texas deserves credit for that, their defense did a great job. At the end of the day we like this team, we're not gonna give up. We're gonna keep fighting and find out how we can be better offensively and defensively. We've been good for one half, so we'll keep working to get better.


Last year at this time we were 5-1 and thought everything was great and we finished 9-9. This year, we're 1-5 and we'd rather finish well then start well so, we'll see what we can do."


On the team's adjustments at half that led to better shooting in the 2nd half:
"I thought we were more patient in the 2nd half. I thought people got each other shots, whereas in the first half everyone was taking it on themselves to try to force the action and what happens is you get five guys out there doing that, then nobody is helping each other, and at the end of the day, it's a team game, and we need to share the ball, and help our teammates get looks and shots and trust each other more."


On the team's confidence right now:
"Obviously down. But at the same time, every day we have a choice and we control our attitude and effort. I hope guys are sleeping in the gym, because we got a lot of guys shooting poor. Gary [Franklin] was shooting in the 20s and this morning was in at 7 in the morning and had his best shooting performance since Hawaii. When you're shooting 30% in conference, you have to build confidence in yourself before anyone else has confidence in you."


Senior Guard Gary Franklin
On the mood of the team:
"Obviously we're feeling a little bit down because we lost. But at the end of the day, we're very optimistic, we just had a team meeting, and we talked a lot and we're going to figure it out. This is a team that is going to keep fighting no matter what."


On trying to focus on just the next game:
"Last year at this time we were 5-1, and we ended up playing in the NIT. We just have to build off this. I told my team today, just now, that I'd rather be in this position than be undefeated and lose the first game in the NCAA tournament. I think coming back from this would build a lot of character and give us more confidence. Starting from the bottom really builds character, and it gives you something to fight for. It's hard to develop from perfection so this would really show how good we are."


Sophomore Forward Taurean Prince
On what it will take to get out of the losing streak:
"We've got to stick to what we know, continue to do what we've been doing, we've just got to be better at it. We've got to pick up the intensity coming out of halftime, we can't start slow. We've just got to continue to do what we do. We don't have to change anything, we're a great team and we'll show it."


On the offensive struggles today:
"We've just got to keep driving and kicking, and finding each other in open spots. We've got to get the ball where our teammates like it, and keep feeding off of each other and stick to what we do. We've got to keep finding each other and try and get assists and put it in the right player's hands."

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