WACO (AP) — Scott Drew had a simple answer for why his Baylor Bears were able to rout Texas. They shared the basketball.
The 20th-ranked Bears beat No. 19 Texas 83-60 on Saturday night.
“We were really unselfish. You can’t get more unselfish than 24 assists and only nine turnovers,” Drew said. “When guys make shots it helps.”
Indeed, Baylor (16-5, 4-4 in Big 12) got pretty much everything right against Texas (14-7, 3-5). In addition to deft passing that produced all those assists, the Bears shot 48 percent, including 55 in the second half.
Point guard Kenny Chery scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and forward Royce O’Neale added 20 points for the Bears. Rico Gathers grabbed 15 rebounds. Baylor hit 12 of its 22 3-pointers. Chery made 5 of 7.
Lester Medford had seven of Baylor’s assists. O’Neale and Chery had five apiece.
“Everyone was sharing the ball,” O’Neale said.
Jonathan Holmes led Texas with 17 points. Point guard Isaiah Taylor had 16 points and a career-best 10 assists. Cam Ridley 12 points and 11 rebounds for Texas.
Playing a zone, Baylor dared Texas to shoot and the Longhorns couldn’t convert They made just 5 of 26 3-point attempts, many of them wide open as the Bears invited them to shoot.
“That’s not who we are, what we should be doing,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “We need to go inside.”
Texas has a height advantage against most teams, including Baylor. Barnes often uses a lineup with three players who stand between 6-foot-8 and 6-11. Barnes urges the Longhorns to work the ball inside, and they did some of that.
The Longhorns actually outscored Baylor 42-28 in the paint. The Longhorns scored 20 of their first 21 second-half points in the paint.
But they couldn’t defend Baylor, at least in the second half.
Baylor led 28-24 before closing the half with an 11-3 run. The Bears were incredibly streaky in the half, converting their first eight shots before missing 17 of their next 19.
Freshman forward Johnathan Motley scored 12 points in the half, four fewer than his total in Baylor’s four previous games.
Nobody scored more than six points in the half for Texas. The Longhorns began the game by missing 12 straight shots, falling behind 12-0 before guard Javan Felix made a 3-pointer at the 15:45 mark.
Chery began the second half with a 3-pointer for a 15-point lead after Texas missed three shots on one possession. After that, Texas never cut the deficit to fewer than 11 points, which it did on a jump shot by Taylor with 13:29 remaining.
But Chery trumped Taylor’s shot with a 3-point basket, and then Baylor poured it on with a 13-2 run during a span of less than four minutes, increasing its lead from 15 to 24.
“The last few games we didn’t come out strongly in the second half,” Chery said. “We wanted to make a statement today.”
Chery made yet another 3-pointer during that stretch. Forward Taurean Prince made a pair of treys and a layup.
Barnes said his team became worse on defense as his team missed shots, and Holmes agreed.
“When you are not making shots, the urgency on defense should be even higher,” Holmes said. “It starts from defense and you go from there.”
A RELENTLESS REBOUNDCER
Gathers has 115 offensive rebounds this season, 53 more any other player in the Big 12 Conference. He grabbed six offensive rebounds against Texas. He ranks second in the nation in offensive and overall rebounding.
Baylor: The Bears have won 16 of their last 17 home games going back to the 2013-14 season.
Texas: The Longhorns won 24 straight over Baylor from 1999-2009, but have gone 5-9 since.
Baylor hosts TCU on Wednesday.
Texas hosts Oklahoma State on Wednesday.