Longhorns stumble in the Big 12 standings as Baylor once again gets the better of Texas
Baylor star NaLyssa Smith scored 25 points and Texas was unable to get out of its own way in a 75-63 loss at Waco's Ferrell Center on Friday night.
The defeat was UT's 12th straight against Baylor. The Bears have won 26 of the last 27 games in this series.
Baylor, ranked ninth in The Associated Press' poll, won't get to celebrate its victory for too long. And No. 13 Texas won't get much time to sulk. On Sunday afternoon, a rematch is scheduled in Austin.
"Tonight, we've got to learn the lesson," UT coach Vic Schaefer said in his postgame press conference. "The great thing is you get to play them again in 36 hours."
On Friday night, the Longhorns never led. The game was tied for all of 75 seconds and Baylor led by as many as 15 points.
Twenty Texas turnovers led to 25 points for Baylor, which was introducing coach Nicki Collen to this rivalry. The Longhorns had seven missed layups and seven missed free throws. After UT pulled within three points with less than three minutes left in the third quarter, Baylor scored the next 10.
"To keep it short, we just have to make shots and limit turnovers," freshman guard Rori Harmon said. "That's basically the name of the game."
Texas got 17 points from Aliyah Matharu, but the junior guard played only 18 minutes. Schaefer kept his leading scorer on the bench for the entire first quarter, and foul trouble kept her on the bench for a key stretch in the second half.
Matharu described her foul trouble as "really frustrating." Schaefer said he needed to coach her better "because she can't help us win if she's over there on the bench in foul trouble."
Meanwhile, Smith knocked down 10 of her 12 shots Friday night. The Big 12 Player of the Year last season grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
Baylor also got 17 points from sophomore guard Sarah Andrews. Ja'Mee Asberry, who played at Oklahoma State last season, knocked down four 3-pointers and had 15 points.
"Baylor's really good, Nicki's doing a great job with them. I thought they were really special tonight," Schaefer said. "Obviously, Smith is an All-American and played like one tonight."
When Friday's game tipped off, Baylor (16-5, 6-3) and Texas (15-5, 5-4) were tied for third place in the Big 12 standings. The loss dropped UT farther behind Iowa State and Oklahoma, which are both 8-2 in conference play. The Longhorns now sit in fifth place, a half-game behind Kansas State (16-6, 6-4).