Baylor (9-4) at Texas Tech (8-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 8, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Spirit Arena (15,098) -- Lubbock, Texas. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Baylor 6-2, Texas Tech 7-4. Away Record: Baylor 1-1, Texas Tech 1-0. Neutral Record: Baylor 2-1, Texas Tech 0-0. Conference Record: Baylor 1-0, Texas Tech 1-0. Series Record: Texas Tech leads, 75-49.
GAME NOTES: Playing at home for the 13th time in their first 14 games, the Texas Tech Red Raiders welcome the Baylor Bears to Lubbock for a Big 12 Conference showdown on Tuesday night.
Not only have the Red Raiders virtually camped out at United Spirit Arena until now, the team didn't play its first official road date until this past Saturday when it topped TCU in the conference opener, 62-53. The victory for Tech was the third in a row, after having dropped three straight.
Meanwhile, the Bears have built a 9-4 record to this point, albeit with a number of questionable opponents on the early part of the schedule (Jackson State, Lamar, USC Upstate). Then again, the team did accept a challenge from nationally-ranked Gonzaga a few days after Christmas, resulting in a 94-87 setback on the road. More recently, BU settled in against Texas in the conference opener over the weekend and secured an 86-79 overtime win, the fourth victory in the last five games for the Bears.
The meeting against Texas took place without head coach Scott Drew on the sidelines as he served the first half of his two-game suspension as part of Baylor's self-imposed NCAA penalties announced back in April. As was the case on Saturday, Jerome Tang will serve as the Bears' interim head coach on Tuesday.
With respect to the all-time series, the Red Raiders are ahead by a count of 75-49, taking 45 of the 60 meetings played in Lubbock over the years. The most recent encounter took place in Waco last season with the Bears blowing the doors off the visitors in a 77-48 final.
Cory Jefferson registered a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds, his efforts augmented by Isaiah Austin who had 18 points and 12 boards of his own for the Bears in their overtime win against Texas. Hitting on all but two of his 15 free-throw attempts, Pierre Jackson scored 24 points and handed out six of his team's 12 assists in the matchup as well. Baylor picked up the win despite shooting just 35.9 percent from the floor, mainly due to the fact that the squad made 36-of-45 at the charity stripe, tied for the fourth-most conversions at the line in school history. Jackson not only leads the team in scoring with 19.9 ppg, he is also first with 81 assists, with many of those dishes going to Austin (14.8 ppg) and Jefferson (14.1 ppg) who have clogged up the lane by capturing 8.9 and 8.7 rpg, respectively, through 13 games for the Bears.
Ahead by seven points at the break over the weekend, the Red Raiders had a very strong second half versus TCU as they not only shot 52.4 percent from the floor over the last 20 minutes of action, they also held the Horned Frogs to just 30.3 percent and 0-of-6 behind the 3-point line. Jaye Crockett came off the bench to tally a team-best 13 points, while starters Dusty Hannahs and Jordan Tolbert tacked on 12 and 11 points, respectively, as the squad survived 16 turnovers. Miscues are nothing new for the Red Raiders though, with the team averaging more than 15 per game, and still they are able to roll up 75.2 ppg. Their scoring output is made all the more impressive by the fact that they are shooting just 27.8 percent beyond the arc. Despite coming off the bench in all but one game, Crockett is still the leading scorer for the group with his 15.0 ppg, and he is also tops on the glass with close to nine boards per contest.
Even though Crockett has proven himself in the paint for the Red Raiders, he'll have his hands full trying to slow down both Austin and Jefferson who are reckless on the glass right now for the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 79, Texas Tech 71
01/08 10:32:01 ET