By Steve Lansdale
WACO, Texas — The Texas men’s basketball team had a chance to pick up what could have been an enormous victory Wednesday, leading at Baylor by as many as 19 points with 14:49 to go in the second half. But the Bears came roaring back and knocked off the Longhorns, 84-83, in overtime at the Ferrell Center.
With the loss, the Longhorns’ record fell to 15-13 overall, and 7-8 against teams in the Big 12, while Baylor improved to 19-9 overall, and 10-5 against conference opponents.
Sophomore Texas guard Jase Febres tied his career high with 23 points, but Baylor’s Mario Kegler had 24 in the Bears’ victory. Febres was one of four Longhorns who reached double digits in scoring: guard Courtney Ramey had 17 points (and 10 assists, for his first career double-double), while forward Kamaka Hepa (who made his first collegiate start(=and guard Matt Coleman tallied 11 points apiece.
Febres was at his best from long range: he scored 21 of his 23 points from behind the three-point arc, on 7-of-14 shooting.
A 13-0 scoring run, led by guard Elijah Mitrou-Long, helped the Longhorns stretch their lead to 14 late in the first half; UT led, 40-29, at halftime.
Febres led his team out of the intermission, connecting on four three-pointers early in the second half, as the Longhorns increased their advantage to 19 points, at 55-36. But the Bears rallied, thanks in part to an 11-0 scoring run, trimming the Texas lead to just three points, 62-59, with 5:29 to go.
Guard Jared Butler’s jumper gave Baylor its first second-half lead, only to watch Febres strike again from long range, netting a three-pointer to put UT back on top, at 71-69. Butler then struck again, tying the game at 71-71 and forcing overtime after Coleman’s floater with two seconds left missed its mark.
Hepa and Febres both connected from long range in the extra stanza, but a 5-0 Baylor scoring run trimmed the UT lead to a single point, at 81-80, with 47 seconds left. Kegler’s free throws with 3.2 afforded Baylor the tying and winning points:
Texas is now 163-91 all-time against the Bears, and boasts a 33-19 edge since the inception of the Big 12 at the start of the 1996-97 season.
The Longhorns heads home to Austin to host Iowa State at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.