Waco, TX (Sports Network) – Tristan Thompson scored 19 points and No. 7 Texas held off Baylor, 60-54, spoiling a night that saw LaceDarius Dunn become the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer.
Gary Johnson tallied 15 points and Jordan Hamilton scored 14 for the Longhorns (25-6, 13-3 Big 12), who snapped a two-game skid and will go into the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed.
Dunn totaled 22 points for the Bears (18-12, 7-9), who have their work cut out for them to make the NCAA Tournament. Dunn has 2,274 career points, moving past Texas Tech’s Andre Emmett (2,256) as the Big 12’s career scoring leader. Perry Jones III had nine points and 11 rebounds in defeat.
“The record was sweet; a great achievement. I am thankful for it, but it was a tough loss. I did not come out and match the intensity of Thompson,” Dunn said. “We could not stop him. Hats off to him, he is an incredible player. Other than that, we just did not come out and compete tonight.”
The Longhorns won despite shooting 35.6 percent from the field and held off the Bears thanks to an eye-popping 23 offensive rebounds. Nine of those came from Thompson as Texas swept the season series.
Hamilton’s bucket in the paint tied the game at 45 with 5:45 remaining, and after Dunn missed a three-point attempt, Hamilton drained a long-distance shot for a 48-45 difference.
“The last couple of games, my shot has just been dead, and I just knew that I didn’t want to lose here,” Hamilton said. “Especially for our seniors tonight, this is such a big rivalry. I just told myself that I had to go out there and make something happen.”
Baylor got within one two more times, the last at 50-49 on Quincy Acy’s jam with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. That’s when Texas crashed the boards to secure the victory. First, Hamilton missed a jumper, but Alexis Wangmene got the rebound and made two free throws.
After Dunn’s three had the hosts within 54-52, Cory Joseph split defenders for a layup and a four-point lead with 1:27 left.
Dunn then turned the ball over on a poor pass and the Longhorns held on, as J’Covan Brown drained two more from the charity stripe after another offensive board from Wangmene.
Dunn’s three-ball capped the first half with Baylor holding a 24-21 lead and the Bears were up 36-27 after a J’mison Morgan dunk. Texas finally gained a 39-38 lead with 9 1/2 minutes left following a free throw from Thompson.
The attendance of 10,627 was the largest in Ferrell Center history…Baylor is 7-27 against Texas during the Big 12 era…Dunn now has 387 career three-point field goals and needs three to pass Texas’ A.J. Abrams (389) as the Big 12’s all-time leader…Texas has tied for the second-most regular season wins in program history with 25. The 2007-08 team won 26 regular season games…Texas went a perfect 10-0 against Big 12 South opponents for the regular season…With his three blocks, Thompson has tallied 70 blocks on the year, passing Kevin Durant for the second-most blocks by a freshman in school history. Chris Mihm recorded the most with 90 in the 1997-98 season…The Horns are 12-1 against the Bears in Waco during the Rick Barnes era.