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Baylor and Texas poised for Big 12 showdown

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WAGNER-AP

Baylor forward Cory Jefferson over Kansas forward Perry Ellis on Jan. 20.

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Cory Jefferson and the 24th-ranked Baylor Bears look to get back on the winning track. But it won’t be easy with one of the Big 12’s hottest teams making the trip up I-35.

The Texas Longhorns (15-4, 4-2 Big 12) visit Baylor (13-5, 1-4) on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

Texas comes in riding a four-game winning streak that includes home wins against No. 16 Iowa State and No. 22 Kansas State.

Conversely, Baylor has lost three straight and four of five since conference play started Jan. 7.

Baylor is in ninth place in the conference while UT is tied for second, one game behind first-place Kansas.

Jefferson, a former Killeen High standout, is Baylor’s leading scorer with 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest.

However, the Longhorns have two of the league’s best rebounders in forward Jonathan Holmes and center Cameron Ridley.

Holmes is third in the conference with 8.3 rebounds per conference game while Ridley is fifth in the league with 8.0 boards per game.

The pair have controlled the paint during the Texas win streak. Texas has gone with a three-guard starting lineup during most of this streak.

The Bears have a contrasting style with a three-post lineup.

The Bears’ posts of Taurean Prince, Royce O’Neale and Isaiah Austin may have the numbers advantage down low, but will have to deal with more of a blue-collar style Longhorn team than the ones of recent years.

Texas sophomore guard Javan Felix has provided Texas with a scoring lift in conference play averaging 17.2 points per Big 12 game, an increase of his season average of 12.5.

The Longhorns won the last meeting 79-70 in Austin last season, but have struggled in recent years at Waco, failing to win at the Ferrell Center since 2011.

Contact Albert Alvarado at alvarado@kdhnews.com

1 image

WAGNER-AP

Baylor forward Cory Jefferson over Kansas forward Perry Ellis on Jan. 20.

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