The Big 12 Conference is loaded with good teams and a schedule that will be chock-full of marquee matchups. One of the first of those much-watch games lands on Tuesday, when No. 4 Baylor heads to the South Plains to battle No. 22 Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Both teams posted definitive home victories in their respective conference openers on Saturday, with the Bears using a stifling defense to roll past Texas 59-44 and the Red Raiders routing Oklahoma State 85-50.
Baylor (11-1, 1-0) stymied the Longhorns, holding Texas to the fewest points in coach Shaka Smart’s five-year tenure in Austin. It was the 10th win in a row for the Bears, who won and did so easily despite not playing their best.
“It takes a team to defend, it’s never one guy,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “I’m just pleased with their mentality. The players really deserve the credit that no matter what the scheme is, they’ve bought in and really locked in defensively and cared about it.”
MaCio Teague scored 21 points for Baylor in the win, with Jered Butler adding 13 points for the Bears. Baylor outrebounded Texas 48-35, including 19-9 on the offensive glass, with Freddie Gillespie taking 12 of those rebounds for the Bears.
“That’s the great thing about the Big 12 is it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you know you’re in for a great game,” Drew said. “Looking at basketball nationwide you would be foolish to think that your team has arrived or your team is invincible. It’s who shows up and executes and plays well. Those teams have been winning.”
Conversely from Baylor, the Red Raiders did just about everything well, especially in the second half, in swamping Oklahoma State, winning for the fifth consecutive outing and capturing its 15th straight game at home dating back to last season.
Jahmi’us Ramsey scored 18 points and T.J. Holyfield added 17, Terrence Shannon added 13 points, all in the second half, for Texas Tech, while Moretti also hit for 13 and Chris Clark took 10 rebounds for the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech (10-3, 1-0), the reigning Big 12 Conference regular-season champions, posted its largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game in program history in the walloping of a good Oklahoma State team.
“These games are so hard to win,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “You don’t ever take it for granted and sometimes when things go your way and you have a big margin of victory you kind of forget how hard it was to win this game. I’ve been on both sides of games like this, sometimes it steamrolls but certainly, tonight was our night.”
The Red Raiders outshot Oklahoma State 58.6 percent to 25 percent from the floor in the second half and outscored the Cowboys 49-20 in that time.
“It was just preparation,” Holyfield said. “The coaches got us ready to play, all of us as a team, and I had a game plan going in and I just tried to follow it the best I could. You just have to trust the process, through the good and the bad. The outcome is, you should be getting what you want if you put in the time off the court.”
–Field Level Media