Baylor continued a strong week by soundly outplaying No. 24 Texas to earn a 78-64 blowout Big 12 road win on Saturday afternoon. After outlasting Iowa State for an overtime home win earlier this week, the Bears jumped out to a big lead behind a huge effort from Johnathan Motley. Motley shot 12-for-13 from the field and finished with 24 points and four rebounds.
With the way Baylor has been so up and down during Big 12 play, the story here is that we have no idea what kind of team we’ll see out of them in March. At one point, they won five straight Big 12 games. Then they dropped three of four and looked mediocre. Now, Baylor has beaten back-to-back ranked teams and looking like a potentially dangerous team.
The play of Motley is a large part of that. The sophomore hasn’t been in double-figures in the scoring column consistently, but his best games are also some of Baylor’s wins. Motley had 27 in both wins the Bears had over Iowa State and he had another big game on Saturday afternoon.
With Motley playing like that, it alleviates the pressure put on others like Taurean Waller-Prince, Rico Gathers and Al Freeman. Then, Baylor’s offense gets in a groove and can really put up points.
Baylor gets a crack at No. 2 Kansas next and they still play Oklahoma and West Virginia one more time. We’ll really get to see what the Bears are made of down the stretch and if they show any sign of consistency heading into March.
This loss for Texas is a bit disappointing since they’ve been so good at home against ranked competition. The Longhorns had top-10 home wins over West Virginia and North Carolina but came out flat in this one. After taking care of the ball so well against West Virginia’s press, Texas turned the ball over 14 times as Shaquille Cleare led with 14 points.
Texas still gets a crack at Oklahoma and Kansas at home, but they let a good opportunity for a positive win slip away.