Texas Tech (13-15) at Baylor (18-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 1:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ferrell Center (10,347) -- Waco, Texas. Television: Big 12 TV, Alt, MASN2. Home Record: TTU 10-6, Baylor 11-4. Away Record: TTU 2-8, Baylor 3-5. Neutral Record: TTU 1-1, Baylor 4-1. Conference Record: TTU 5-9, Baylor 6-9. Series Record: Texas Tech leads, 76-51.
GAME NOTES: Big 12 Conference action is on tap at the Ferrell Center this afternoon, as the Baylor Bears host the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Baylor seemed to have found its footing, with wins in four straight contests, before dropping a 74-69 decision to 24th-ranked Texas on Wednesday. The Bears, who were once counted among the nation's elite, are a solid 18-10 overall, but their inability to win games in league play consistently (6-9) has hurt their resume'. They get a shot at 15th-ranked Iowa State next.
Texas Tech has lost its last four games, following a three-game win streak. The Red Raiders have grown accustomed to losing streaks this season, however, with a record of just 13-15 overall and a 5-10 success rate against the rest of the Big 12. They play their final road game of the season next at No. 5 Kansas.
When these two teams met at United Spirit Arena on Jan. 15, Texas Tech stunned then 12th-ranked Baylor, 82-72. The Bears had won four straight against the Red Raiders before that decision. Texas Tech leads the all-time series, 76-51.
Dusty Hannahs pushed Texas Tech ahead, 56-54, with 1:19 to play against Kansas State on Tuesday, but the Red Raiders would not score again the rest of the way in what wound up as a 60-56 loss. They connected on only 36.5 percent of their total shots, including a paltry 1-of-10 from 3-point range.
Dejan Kravic scored 13 points and Jordan Tolbert tallied 10 on 2-of-9 shooting in the loss to K-State. Leading scorer Jaye Crockett (14.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) did not live up to his billing in the meantime, finishing with only eight points on 4-of-11 shooting. Tolbert (11.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is the only other double- digit scorer other than Crockett. In all, Texas Tech is scoring just 70.1 ppg, but it does shoot a solid percentage from the floor (.460) while limiting the opposition to 68.4 ppg.
After taking a 2-0 lead in the first minute, Baylor never led again when it faced Texas. However, the Bears did slash an 18-point deficit down to one with 1:46 to play on three straight baskets by Cory Jefferson. However, the Bears missed their last four field goal attempts as the comeback bid stalled.
Baylor scores at a healthier clip than Texas Tech (75.6 ppg), but it is shooting just a bit behind the Red Raiders (.457). The Bears' greatest strength is on the interior where Jefferson (13.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Isaiah Austin (11.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.1 bpg) make their living. Jefferson is the leading scorer and the third-best rebounder in the Big 12. He produced 14 points and 12 rebounds against Texas. Austin's claim to fame is on defense, as he leads the Big 12 in blocks. Brady Heslip (11.3 ppg) and Kenny Chery (11 ppg, 4.9 apg), who scored a career-high 27 points against Texas, run the show out on the wings.
Right now Baylor is playing for its NCAA Tournament life, making every game a must-win. That type of motivation, combined with the homecourt advantage, will lift the Bears over the Red Raiders.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 76, Texas Tech 68
03/01 11:00:25 ET