Overreaction Central - Ending with a thud

Overreaction Central - Ending with a thud

Have the Baylor Bears put the final nail in the coffin of the 2012 season? With their 5th loss in 6 games, the Bears will need a miracle to get into the NCAA tournament now.

With their backs against the wall, many Bear fans hoped that the team would come out with an edge that has been lacking for most of the year. What we got was a lack of hustle on 50/50 balls, poor shooting, and another slow-start to a half. That is what I like to call the 2012-2013 Baylor Bears. The Bears fell in Austin 79-70 against a team playing for nothing, when the Bears had everything to fight for.

The definitive moment to me was the start of the second half. With the Bears playing poorly and shooting even worse in the first half, they were just down by two points. They were outshot by 14% (36% to 50%) in that first half, but a good job at the free throw line and behind the arc allowed the Bears to stay close. However, this is how they started the second half:

REBOUND (DEF) by Kabongo, Myck

19:47

MISSED JUMPER by Jefferson, Cory

MISSED 3 PTR by Holland, Demarcus

19:29

REBOUND (DEF) by Walton, A.J.

REBOUND (DEF) by (TEAM)

19:21

MISSED 3 PTR by Jackson, Pierre

GOOD! JUMPER by Papapetrou, Ioannis

19:07

38-34

H 4

ASSIST by Kabongo, Myck

19:07

REBOUND (DEF) by Papapetrou, Ioannis

18:44

MISSED JUMPER by Walton, A.J.

FOUL by Papapetrou, Ioannis (P2T1)

18:28

TURNOVR by Papapetrou, Ioannis

18:28

BLOCK by Papapetrou, Ioannis

18:14

MISSED LAYUP by Jackson, Pierre

REBOUND (DEF) by Kabongo, Myck

18:14

GOOD! 3 PTR by Papapetrou, Ioannis [FB]

18:09

41-34

H 7

Baylor settled for 3 long jumpers while Texas moved the ball around and battled on the offensive glass to get extra chances. All of a sudden, it was a 7 point deficit and the bears had to flight and claw back. Yes, the Bears would take the lead later in the half, but to start out the biggest 20 minutes of basketball of the year by settling for 3-point shots and lazy jumpers in inexcusable. The Bears were outrebounded 4-1 in that quick 2 minutes of game action, with 2 of those being loose balls that Baylor could have come up with, but just failed to do so. Too many times, we saw the Texas players diving on the floor, while the Bears simply tried bending over and grabbing the ball.

Those extra possessions allowed Texas to outscore Baylor 15-9 in second chance points, something earlier in the year that the Bears did a very good job in. Maligned Texas freshman center Cameron Ridley did a great job on the offensive glass, keeping four possessions alive that resulted directly in 7 additional points for Texas (a Ridley dunk, a Papapetrou 3-pointer, and a Papapetrou layup).

Baylor's offense was out of sync all game, mainly due to their inability to finish close to the rim. Isaiah Austin struggled majorly with the physicality inside, as he was just 2-12 from inside the arc. He did add two 3-point shots to finish with 15 points, but he was pushed around inside again and could not finish multiple point blank shots. The bears shot just 36% from the field in the first half, but did improve to 40.4% by the end of the game, but they allowed 50% shooting to a Texas team that has struggled to make shots all year.

The one bright spot again for the Bears was Pierre Jackson, who kept the Bears in this game with 22 points and 8 assists (with just 2 turnovers). Pierre continued to be the focal point and only consistent factor of the Bears' offense. With the strong performance, it looks like he will be the first power conference player to lead his league in scoring and assists since Jason Terry in the Pac-10.

Outside of Austin and Jackson though, no Bears scored more than 9 points. Both Brady Heslip and A.J. Walton struggled on offense, making just 1-7 shots for 4 combined points to go along with 2 turnovers. The Baylor bench did show up though, with Gary Franklin getting the bulk of minutes at the shooting guard position with Heslip in foul trouble. Franklin was 3-3 from behind the arc for 9 points.

The surprise contributor of the game though was Deuce Bello, who had a very impactul 20 minutes of action, where he was involved all over the court. He had 3 big offensive rebounds, and had 2 great fast break buckets that led him to finish with 7 points.

In the end though, the Bears could not get stops when they needed them, and could not find a consistent threat outside of Pierre Jackson to help him carry the load on the offensive end of the court. This loss puts the Bears NCAA tournament hopes on life support, as they probably need to now beat Kansas at home and get 3 wins in the Big 12 tournament to get back into the conversation. That, or just win the Big 12 tournament.

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