AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tyrese Hunter's frantic, driving layup at the buzzer sent Texas to a 75-73 win over No. 9 Baylor on Saturday, handing the Bears their second straight loss in the Big 12 Conference.
Hunter's basket came after Baylor's Jalen Bridges tied it on a long 3-pointer with 5 seconds left, the Bears' first basket in nearly nine minutes. Texas quickly inbounded the ball and got it to Hunter near midcourt, and he weaved his way around three defenders for the basket.
“I knew I had to get down the court,” Hunter said. “I had already looked at the clock. ... Get a foul or make a layup.”
Texas coach Rodney Terry still had a timeout to use, but with the game tied, he decided to let the last scramble play out.
“Don’t over-coach,” Terry said. “Let those guys do what they do in practice. We got downhill and won the game.”
Hunter barely got the ball out of his hands over Baylor's Gavin Perryman before the game clock hit zero. Game officials reviewed the shot but quickly ruled that it counted.
Baylor coach Scott Drew said he should have called a timeout to set his defense.
“We didn’t want to give them a chance to draw something up, but obviously anything would have been better than a layup. So, that’s on me,” Drew said.
Hunter finished with 21 points. Dylan Disu added 19 for the Longhorns (13-5, 2-3). Ja'Kobe Walter scored 22 for Baylor (14-4, 3-2), which lost to Kansas State 68-64 in overtime on Tuesday night.
Baylor's Jalen Bridges and Langston Love made consecutive 3-pointers early in the second half Saturday, giving the Bears a 56-50 lead. But Texas got it back to within one when Hunter faked a 3-pointer and drove for an easy layup, and took the lead at 67-66 on Kadin Shedrick's two free throws.
Baylor got within one on Walter's two free throws with 50 seconds left and forced an off-balance shot by Disu on the other end. But a hustle play on the long rebound by Chendall Weaver tapped the ball out to Max Abmas. He made two free throws for a 73-70 Texas lead.
“Play of the game,” Hunter said of Weaver's play.
Texas made nine of 11 3-pointers in the first half, then none in the second. Hunter made four before halftime, then started misfiring wildly in the second, throwing up an airball, then another attempt that caromed off the backboard without hitting the rim. Hunter said he took a hit to one of his legs that affected his shooting motion, but he still found a final burst in the sprint for the winning basket.
Baylor: The Bears came in as No. 3 team in the nation in 3-point shooting but struggled for any offensive rhythm against a Texas team playing its best defense of the season. Baylor made just four from long range in the second half. Drew noted Baylor's failure to stretch its second-half lead.
“When you get a shot to extend the lead, you’ve got to (make shots). We wasted those opportunities,” Drew said.
Texas: The Longhorns avoided a third straight loss and may have saved their season, which was in danger of quickly unraveling after last season’s trip to the Elite Eight, the program’s best run in the NCAA Tournament in 15 years. That performance helped Terry secure the job as head coach after taking over as interim early in the season.
Baylor hosts No. 19 TCU next Saturday.
Texas plays at No. 15 Oklahoma on Tuesday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball