Both Baylor and Texas needed a win on Monday night albeit for different reasons. Scott Drew's Bears arrived in Austin two days after losing to Kansas State at home, and despite their status as a likely high seed losing three of their last four games wasn't the best way to bolster their resume. Texas on the other hand found themselves part of the race for one of those final at-large berths, arguably making the contest more important for them than it was Baylor. Baylor didn't play well in the first half, turning the ball over nine times, and those mistakes resulted in 14 Longhorn points as Texas took a 36-26 lead into the half.
With Quincy Miller under the weather and Perry Jones III once again underwhelming it was Quincy Acy who kept Baylor within rearch, as he scored eight points and grabbed eight boards in the first half. Acy would continue his work in the second half, finishing with 22 points and 16 rebounds to help lead the Bears back from 12 down to win 77-72. Pierre Jackson, who scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half while playing a far more efficient style of basketball, was critical to the rally and Brady Heslip scored 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc but there was no debate who stood above the rest.
"He really just outplayed us," remarked Texas center Clint Chapman when asked about Acy's performance. "There were two big plays, one where I came across and fouled him. He was able to get the ball up over the rim, and he put up three points instead of two. So, plays like that, all the credit goes to him for being able to finish that."
Jones III would score ten points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and despite his struggles this still proved to be too much for the Texas big men to handle. J'Covan Brown scored 18 points to lead the Longhorns but Baylor did a good enough job of keeping him on the perimeter and out of the lane. All six of Brown's made baskets were three-pointers, a far cry from his 32-point outburst in the first meeting, and guards A.J. Walton and Deuce Bello deserve some credit for this given their work on the defensive end. Baylor got better defensively in the second half while Texas got worse, and when combined with Acy that's all it took for the Bears to head home with a win.
"In the second half, we obviously went with three guards and man-to-man (defense) and that worked out for us," said Drew. "We took good care of the basketball and got good shots. We played a lot more aggressive on both ends of the court."
With home games against Oklahoma and Texas Tech next on the schedule, Baylor has the ability to go on a quick win streak before their regular season finale at Iowa State and if they take advantage their seeding should be helped. As for Texas, their games against Texas Tech (road) and Oklahoma (home) have become even more important. Would either jump off of their resume? Wins no, but should they lose either one the regular season finale at Kansas becomes a game the Longhorns may feel they absolutely need to have. A win over Baylor would have done wonders for Texas, but Quincy Acy's dominance prevented that from happening.
Three Notable Performances
1. G Parker Smith (North Florida)
Led the Ospreys to a 75-66 win over Mercer with 46 points, knocking down 11 of 17 shots from beyond the arc.
2. F Quincy Acy (Baylor)
22 points and 16 rebounds in the Bears' 77-72 win at Texas.
3. G Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
32 points, five rebounds and two assists in the Huskies' 73-70 overtime win at Villanova.