Parity in Big 12 men’s basketball expressed itself loud and clear Wednesday night in Lubbock, Texas, and the 12th-ranked Baylor Bears were the unwitting recipients of the message. Texas Tech, winless in Big 12 play before Wedesday night, let it be known that there are no easy wins this season in the Big 12, hammering Baylor 82-72 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score would indicate.
What a difference a year can make. Texas Tech lost both games to Baylor a year ago, never scoring above 48 points in either game. The Red Raiders were literally on fire on the offensive end Wednesday night, scoring 43 points in the first half on 62 percent shooting and building a 21-point lead at the break. On the other side, Baylor couldn’t buy a basket in the first half. The Bears made only seven of 27 shots in the opening 20 minutes for a dismal 26 percent.
All five Texas Tech starters scored in double figures, led by senior Jaye Crockett with 19 points. Sixty-four of the Red Raiders’ 82 points came from their starting five. Kenny Chery scored 22 for Baylor, but the Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson, who have been big offensive contributors for the Bears this season, combined for just 12 points.
Texas Tech also outrebounded the taller and longer Baylor squad 35-29.
It was only Baylor’s third loss of the season, but the second in conference play. The Red Raiders upped their season record to 9-8 and picked up win number one in the Big 12 against three losses.
In the other conference game on Wednesday, Oklahoma State (15-2, 3-1) joined Kansas and Kansas State atop the Big 12 standings, each with three conference wins, with a convincing 82-50 home win over TCU.
It was another big night for reigning Big 12 Player of the Year Marcus Smart. The 6-4 sophomore do-it-all guard showed his versatility scoring 20 points, pulling down eight rebounds and delivering five assists. The Cowboys quickly took charge in the game, dispelling any notion that they might come out a little flat and be looking to their huge game at Kansas on Saturday.
“We just went out there with the mindset of it’s the next team on our schedule,” OSU guard Markel Brown said after the game. “We’re not going to do too much looking forward, looking over opponents. We just wanted to go out there, play our style of basketball, trying to get in rhythm, trying to keep the chemistry alive.”
Oklahoma State held TCU’s top scorer, Ryan Anderson, who averages 15 points a game, to just eight points on two-for-eight shooting. The Horned Frogs are now 9-7 on the season and remain winless in the Big 12 through four games.
“Oklahoma State’s better than we are,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “They’re deeper and more talented. I thought they wore us down. I thought we competed really well and really hard. They have a good offense, and that’s attributed to good defense.”
Some Other Things You Might Be Interested To Know From Wednesday’s Big 12 Games
- Texas Tech used an 11-0 run at the end of the first half in the game with Baylor to stretch out its lead to 43-22 at halftime.
- The Red Raiders got 24 points in the paint against the much taller Baylor team.
- Baylor hit all 21 of it free throws on Saturday against TCU, but made just 16 of 24 from the free-throw line vs. Texas Tech.
- Texas Tech snapped a four-game losing streak against Baylor and is now 77-50 all-time against the Bears in basketball.
- By defeating 12th-ranked Baylor, the Red Raiders gained their first win over a ranked team in 35 games.
- This is the sixth time in the past 15 seasons that Oklahoma State has been 15-2, or better, to start a season.
- Oklahoma State’s scoring margin against all-comers this season is 20.2 points per game.
- Oklahoma State has shot 50 percent or better behind the three-point line four times this season, including Wednesday night vs. TCU.
- TCU has now lost 20 of 22 games vs. Oklahoma State all-time.