Jordan Hamilton added 17 points and seven boards for the Longhorns (22-3, 10-0 Big 12), who had lost four in a row against Baylor.
“[Baylor] did a great job of coming back,” Hamilton said. “We have to take our hats off to them. Those guys are pretty good. This was one of the closest games that we had in the Big 12 and I figure we need some of that, especially towards the end.”
LaceDarius Dunn finished with 26 points for the Bears (16-8, 6-5), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Perry Jones added 13 points and six rebounds.
Dunn made consecutive three-pointers to cut Baylor’s deficit to five, 60-55, with 4:24 to play.
The score remained tight and Jones recorded a three-point play with 2:06 left to get Baylor within 63-60. But Thompson made two free throws at the other end to make it a five-point game.
It seemed all but over after Thompson came down with a big offensive rebound off Joseph’s missed three-pointer with 35.1 seconds remaining. Thompson was fouled on the play, but missed both foul shots.
Johnson committed a foul after the second missed free throw, sending Baylor to the charity stripe. Jones missed his foul shot, but Texas knocked the ball out of bounds.
Dunn then missed a shot from beyond the arc. Johnson and Joseph each made two free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
“I think we came out with an edge,” Dunn said. “We came out and shot the ball better, I still took some bad shots in the first half but in the second we took our time and it made it a different ball game.”
With the score tied at 5-5 early, the Longhorns ripped off seven straight points. Thompson bookended the burst with a jumper and free throw to make it 12-5 with 13:12 to go.
Thompson made another free throw at the midway mark of the first half to spark a 10-0 Texas run. Hamilton capped the burst with a jumper to make it 27-11 with 7:14 left.
The Longhorns held a 38-22 advantage at the half.
Baylor made things interesting in the second half. A Jones jumper and Dunn’s three-point play got the Bears within eight, 44-36, with 14:45 to play.
But Joseph responded with four straight points for Texas to make it a 12-point contest.
The Bears kept it close and set up a tight finish on Dunn’s back-to-back three-pointers.
Texas holds a sizeable advantage all-time at 156-79…The Longhorns went 22- of-37 from the foul line, while the Bears went 5-of-8 from the charity stripe…Texas had won each its previous nine Big 12 games by double figures…This marks the third time in program history (second in the Rick Barnes era) that the Longhorns have started the year with at least 22 wins in their first 25 contests. The last time Texas accomplished the feat was the 2005-06 season when the Longhorns started 22-3. This marks the first time that Texas has won 10 straight games in league play in the same season since the 1962-63 season when the Longhorns started 13-0 and finished 13-1 in Southwest Conference play.