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GAME NOTES: The suddenly struggling Baylor Bears head to the state capital to face the Texas Longhorns in Big 12 play at the Erwin Center.
Tonight will be the 238th meeting in the all-time series between Baylor and Texas, the most-played rivalry for both schools. Texas has a 157-80 record against Baylor and is 85-27 in contests placed in Austin.
Baylor has dropped three of its last four games and finally lost to a program not named Kansas or Missouri on Saturday as it dropped a 57-56 decision to the Kansas State Wildcats. The loss made Scott Drew's squad 22-5 overall and gives it a third-place position in the Big 12 standings with a 9-5 mark in league play. The Bears had a forgettable performance against Kansas State, as they shot just 38.5 percent from the floor and committed 18 turnovers in the loss. Baylor still is one of the top teams in the Big 12, as it has outscored its opponents by 11.1 ppg this season.
Perry Jones III paces the balanced attack for the Bears with team-best averages of 13.5 points and 7.5 boards per game. Jones has been hurting his NBA Draft stock as of late, as he has been held to five points or less in three of his last four games. Quincy Miller, Pierre Jackson, and Quincy Acy are all averaging just about 12 points per game to give Baylor unbelievable scoring depth. Jackson is also contributing 5.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Acy is knocking down 60 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Head coach Rick Barnes will try to rally the troops after the Longhorns' 90-78 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday. The defeat dropped Texas to 17-10 overall and a fifth place standing in the league. Texas hit 49.1 percent of its field goals and converted 8-of-16 from tree point range against the Cowboys, but lost after OSU's Keiton Page erupted for a career-high 40 points. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Texas, which is sitting squarely on the bubble as the Selection Sunday slowly approaches.
J'Covan Brown is an elite scorer and leads the Big 12 with 19.7 ppg. Brown was efficient his last time out, as he went 6-of-14 from the field and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe to net 20 points versus Oklahoma State. Freshman Sheldon McClellan scored in double figures for the fifth straight game against OSU, as he chipped in 15 points. Myck Kabongo had an encouraging performance despite the loss to the Cowboys, as he poured in a career-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor. Jonathan Holmes is also a steady contributor on both ends, and made an impact his last time out with a career-high three steals.
Both team's need to win tonight. Baylor is battling for seeding, which Scott Drew knows could make or break his team's chances of a deep run in the Big Dance. The Longhorns are basically staying to play alive at this point. If Texas somehow pulls off the upset, it would put positive attention for the program at the best time possible. With the Bears' recent loss to Kansas State, Texas could get the win and at the very least keep it close throughout.
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