LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech beat No. 4 Baylor 84-78 to secure their third win against a ranked team this season and put a setback on the Bears’ quest to win the Big 12 title.
After starting fast with an 11-0 run and then blew a 12 point advantage, Texas Tech grabbed back the lead midway through the second half and never looked back en route to the victory.
“People look at a number and they see (No. 4) and they see non-ranked and they think there’s a big difference,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
“Coaches know there’s not a big difference. These are one-possession games. A one-possession league.”
Keenan Evans scored 23 points and Niem Stevenson added 21 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead the Red Raiders (17-9, 5-8 Big 12).
Justin Gray finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Zach Smith scored 11 points for Texas Tech, as the student’s section pours onto the floor after the win.
“We’ve known the whole time that we can beat these teams,” Evans said. “Especially Kansas, we let that one slip away.
“But, we knew coming in it was going to be a battle. We knew that we could come out with a win.”
Terry Maston led Baylor with 22 points off the bench and shot 7-of-11 from the floor, while Manu Lecomte scored 16 points but fouled out with 8:28 left in the game and it opened the door for Texas Tech to take over the contest.
Johnathan Motley, who is averaging 16.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this season, was held to just 11 points, as he struggled to shoot the ball.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. also scored 11 points in the defeat for the Bears (22-4, 9-4 Big 12), who had their two game win streak snapped.
The defeat put a dent in Baylor’s hope of winning the Big 12 title and potentially hurt their chance of keeping their No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.
Baylor, which is not a game and half behind first-place Kansas in the Big 12, will host the Jayhawks in their next outing on Saturday.