Perry Ellis

While sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor had 17 points and eight assists to go along with six rebounds, a few errors in the final minute led to a loss for the Longhorns to Kansas on Saturday, 69-64. The Longhorns dropped to 17–12 on the season and 6–10 in conference play with the loss.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

With hopes of an NCAA tournament berth hanging in the balance, Texas men’s basketball came close to pulling off an improbable victory in college basketball’s toughest road venue Saturday.

But, as it almost always seems to do, No. 8 Kansas once again found a way to win in front of its home crowd. 

Now, with just two games remaining on the schedule, Texas finds itself in jeopardy of missing the tournament for the second time in three seasons.

The Longhorns will fight Monday to keep their postseason hopes alive when they return home to face Baylor, which handed them their worst loss of the season last month in Waco. For a chance at redemption versus the Bears, Texas will need to quickly put Saturday’s tough loss in Lawrence, Kansas behind it.

The Longhorns led well into the second half in the 69–64 loss to the Jayhawks, leading by as many as 6 points with under 10 minutes remaining. But Kansas got hot from the field and the free throw line late, closing the game out with a 16–10 run in the final 6:52 to ice the victory.

Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis was at the forefront of that second-half surge, scoring 12 points in the final 9:30 of the second half. He finished the game with 28 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. It marked the third consecutive 20-point game for Ellis, who has emerged as a front-runner for Big 12 Player of the Year.

Texas missed on a couple of opportunities late to tie the game. With Texas trailing 66–64 with 48.3 seconds remaining, sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one. Then, with the score the same and 6.1 seconds remaining, Taylor missed an off-balance layup attempt on a play in which he appeared to be fouled — though the referees didn’t call it.

Taylor led the Longhorns with 17 points and eight assists to go along with six rebounds, but the final minute didn’t go as hoped.

Despite Ellis’ impressive game, the Longhorns turned in one of their better defensive performances of the season. They held Kansas to just 36.2 percent shooting from the field and, remarkably, limited the sweet-shooting Jayhawks to just one made 3-pointer in eight attempts.

Texas’ interior defense was especially impressive. Freshman forward Myles Turner racked up five blocks in the game, while junior center Prince Ibeh had four. Texas had 14 blocks in the game.

With the victory, Kansas improved to a perfect 15–0 at home this season. The Jayhawks have now won 24 consecutive home games, and improved to a remarkable 189–9 at Allen Fieldhouse under head coach Bill Self.

The Longhorns dropped to 17–12 on the season and 6–10 in conference play with the loss. A victory would’ve greatly improved their résumé as they try to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament, and now, with just two games remaining, they’re very much on the bubble to make the Big Dance.

A win over Baylor might at least keep Texas in the discussion for a NCAA tournament berth. A loss at home to the Bears, however, would damage their postseason hopes even further.

With hopes of an NCAA Tournament berth hanging in the balance, Texas men’s basketball came close to pulling off an improbable victory in college basketball’s toughest road venue Saturday.

But, as it almost always seems to do, No. 8 Kansas once again found a way to win in front of its home crowd.

The Longhorns led well into the second half in the 69-64 loss to the Jayhawks, leading by as many as six points with under 10 minutes remaining. But Kansas got hot from the field and the free throw line late, closing the game out on a 16-10 run to ice the victory.

Junior forward Perry Ellis was at the forefront of that late surge, scoring 12 points in the final 9:30 of the second half. He finished the game with 28 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. It marked the third consecutive 20-point game for Ellis, who has emerged as a front-runner for Big 12 Player of the Year.

Texas missed out on a couple of opportunities to tie the game late. With Texas trailing 66-64 and 48.3 seconds remaining, sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one. Then, with the same score and 6.1 seconds remaining, Taylor missed an off-balance lay-up attempt on a play where he appeared to be fouled, but the referees didn’t call it.

Taylor led the Longhorns with 17 points and eight assists to go along with six rebounds, but he wasn't able to finish the game the way he hoped.

Despite Ellis’ impressive game, the Longhorns turned in one of their better defensive performances of the season. They held Kansas to just 36.2 percent shooting from the field and surprisingly limited the sweet-shooting Jayhawks to just one made three-pointer in eight attempts.

Texas’ interior defense was especially impressive. Freshman forward Myles Turner racked up five blocks in the game, while junior center Prince Ibeh had four. Texas as a whole had 14 blocks in the game.

The Jayhawks managed to overcome their struggles from the field with a strong day at the free throw line. They finished the game 26-of-32 from the line, where the Longhorns went just 12-of-18.

With the victory, Kansas improved to a perfect 15-0 at home this season. The Jayhawks have now won 24 consecutive road games, and they improved to a remarkable 189-9 at Allen Fieldhouse under head coach Bill Self.

The Longhorns dropped to 17-12 on the season and 6-10 in conference play with the loss. A victory would’ve greatly improved their resume as they try to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but now, with just two games remaining, they’re very much on the bubble to make the Big Dance.

They appeared close to finally earning a season-changing signature victory, but once again, they learned why many refer to Allen Fieldhouse as “the best home field advantage in sports.”

Senior forward Jonathan Holmes takes a jump shot over two Baylor defenders. Since defeating Texas, Baylor has struggled.
Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

After putting together a dominant stretch early this month in which it won three straight games by at least 18 points, No. 20 Baylor has fallen on hard times in the past week. 

The Bears dropped back-to-back games against Oklahoma State and Kansas to slip to 6–6 in conference play. Their biggest issues have come from behind the arc, as they went just 11-of-38 (29 percent) from the perimeter in those two losses after going 24-of-49 (49 percent) from behind the arc during their three-game win streak.

Fortunately for the Bears, their remaining schedule isn’t too demanding. Only two of their final six games are against ranked opponents, including two against Texas Tech (2–11 Big 12).

Nash, Ellis named Co-Big 12 Player of the Week

Oklahoma State senior forward Le’Bryan Nash and Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis were named Co-Big 12 Players of the Week on Monday.

Nash, who averaged 20.5 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals in the Cowboys’ two games last week, is in the midst of his finest season at Oklahoma. He’s averaging career-highs this year with 17.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Monday marked the second time in his career, the first this season, that he’s earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors.

Ellis averaged 16 points and 7.5 rebounds in Kansas’ two wins last week. He became the 56th player in Kansas history to reach the 1,000 career points mark in Saturday’s win over Baylor.

Buddy Hield on red-hot streak

Oklahoma junior guard Buddy Hield has been on quite the run lately.

Hield, who leads the Big 12 in scoring, has scored in double figures in 19 consecutive games. He’s been especially good in conference play, scoring at least 20 points in six of his 13 games against Big 12 opponents.

Hield is setting career-bests this season with 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game, and he’s been the biggest reason behind the Sooners’ climb to third place in the Big 12 standings.

Iowa State a different team on the road

No. 14 Iowa State, along with No. 8 Kansas, has been one of the two best teams in the Big 12 all season long. But the Cyclones haven’t been nearly as good on the road this season as they have been at home.

The Cyclones are just 2–4 on the road this season, including 1–4 against Big 12 teams. They’ve lost four consecutive games against conference opponents, including one against bottom-feeding Texas Tech.

It hasn’t mattered much though, as Iowa State has used its 16–2 home record to remain in good shape for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. Still, their struggles on the road don’t look  for their hopes in the tournament, where all of the games are played at neutral sites.

The Cyclones will look to reverse their road woes Wednesday against No. 22 Oklahoma State.