Baylor at Texas Spread, Odds, Trends & Matchups Print
Written by mark   
Sunday, 01 March 2009 19:30

Slump Buster

Austin,Tex - Texas had appeared to be gaining momentum heading into the Big 12 tournament, but looked flat in its last game. A game against Baylor should help it get back on track.

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The 25th-ranked Longhorns look to bounce back from their latest loss and beat the in-state rival Bears for the 24th straight time Monday in Austin.

Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook have made the Texas -8 point spread favorites for Wednesday’s game against the Baylor. Current College Basketball Public Betting Information shows that 58% of more than 218 bets for this game have been placed on the Texas -8.

Texas (19-9, 8-6) entered Saturday's game at Oklahoma State winners of four of five, but suffered a 68-59 loss to the Cowboys.

The Longhorns rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit and had three chances to tie the score in the final four minutes, but failed to take advantage each time.

"We had our chances," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Our guys showed a lot of heart."

The Longhorns shot a season-low 31.5 percent as they were held to fewer than 60 points for only the second time in 2008-09. They've lost all seven games in which they've scored 66 points or fewer, but don't figure to have as much trouble on offense Monday.

Baylor (17-11, 5-9) has the conference's third-worst scoring defense (71.3), and has allowed an average of 84.4 points during a five-game road losing streak.

The Bears have also struggled to slow down Texas for more than a decade.

The Longhorns defeated Baylor 78-72 on Jan. 27 - their 23rd consecutive win in the series since an 80-75 loss on Feb. 21, 1998 - the season before Barnes became Texas' coach.

Texas, which is 12-2 at home this season, will recognize seniors A.J. Abrams and Connor Atchley on Monday in their final game at the Erwin Center.

Abrams is the school record holder in 3-pointers (371), games played (137) and minutes (4,407). As he goes, so go the Longhorns.

Texas' leading scorer with 17.0 points per game, Abrams was held to nine points while shooting 3-for-15 Saturday after averaging 20.6 in his previous five games. Texas is 10-0 when Abrams shoots 45.0 percent or better from the floor, but is 1-6 when he shoots less than 30.0 percent.

He shot 7-for-12 and finished with 19 points against the Bears in January, and is averaging 14.8 points on 50.7 percent shooting in eight career games against them.

Starting forward Gary Johnson, the Longhorns' third-leading scorer (11.3), missed his second consecutive game Saturday because of a left ankle injury but hopes to return for this contest.

"You can tell we're missing Gary - his inside presence, and he can knock down open jump shots and rebound the ball," said junior forward Damion James, who had 18 points and matched a career high with 18 rebounds Saturday.

Baylor is coming off a 75-57 home win over Colorado on Saturday, just its second victory in 10 games.

The Bears trailed by two points with just more than eight minutes remaining before closing the game on a 25-5 run.

"That is a great way to close the game and give our guys confidence over the last two games," coach Scott Drew said.

Senior guard Curtis Jerrells, who averages a team-high 16.4 points, scored 29 while shooting 8 of 12 against the Buffaloes. He had 14 points against the Longhorns in January, when he shot only 6-for-18 from the field.

The Bears are 1-5 against ranked opponents this season. They have lost 18 of their last 19 road games versus Top 25 teams, and five straight conference games away from home.

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Posted: 3/2/09 12:30AM ET


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