LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — All the things coach Tubby Smith has been stressing finally came together for Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
Jaye Crockett had 19 points, Toddrick Gotcher added 17 and the Red Raiders knocked off No. 12 Baylor 82-72 for their first Big 12 win of the season. "When you look at the stats, the rebounding, the shooting, and we get everybody on the same page once and for all," Smith said. "There's been games where our guards will play well, then our post players wouldn't play well. We took a couple of bad shots, but for the most part we took better shots. Then again, the balanced scoring, that's always a key to winning."
Dejan Kravic and Robert Turner scored 14 apiece for the Red Raiders (9-8, 1-3), who ended a four-game slide against Baylor in Lubbock with their first victory over a ranked opponent in 35 games. "I haven't really been showing it much this season, but typically in my career I really love passing," said Kravic, who had six assists. "It's a really big strength of mine and I haven't been able to use it as much this year, so I was happy I was able to show off my passing talents."
Texas Tech led all the way and was able to hold off a late comeback attempt by the Bears (13-3, 1-2) after they pulled to 76-66 on a 3-pointer by Taurean Prince with 2:02 left. That was the closest Baylor had been since late in the first half, but it got no closer down the stretch.
Kenny Chery scored 22 points and Prince had 13 for the Bears. They finished with only six assists, a season low for a team averaging 16.3. All five Red Raiders starters scored in double figures. Crockett matched the 19 points he scored in a loss at Texas last weekend.
Texas Tech kept Baylor's top players in check for much of the night. Cory Jefferson, the Bears' leading scorer (13.5 points per game), had just eight and center Isaiah Austin was well below his 10.7 average with four.
The Bears climbed back into the game with a 15-5 run that pulled them to 65-54. Prince hit two 3-pointers, Rico Gathers had a dunk, Chery made two jumpers and Royce O'Neale added a field goal. "We just felt like they (were) hungrier than us," said Chery, who was 8 of 15 from the field. "We didn't come out with the composure to win the basketball game and they came out like it was the last game of their life."
The Red Raiders simply had more energy and Baylor looked lethargic until late in the game. Texas Tech made 57 percent of its 49 shots to 41 percent for Baylor, which took 63 from the field. Smith was pleased by the win and hopes it's just the beginning for his team.
"It was a big win for our program and our players at this time, but I expect a lot more," he said. It was the largest crowd of the season for the Red Raiders, perhaps in part because Smith went to the student union and bought 135 lunches for students.
"I'll spend a lot of money, if that's what it takes," he said. "We'll be feeding a lot of students." After hitting on all 21 of their free throws in their win at TCU on Saturday, the Bears made only 16 of 24 from the foul line this time.
Texas Tech dominated the boards, outrebounding Baylor 35-19, and the Bears couldn't even capitalize on Texas Tech's errors. On nine Red Raiders turnovers, Baylor managed only two points. The Red Raiders hit 62 percent of their shots from the field in the first half. Meanwhile, Baylor had no assists and just 12 rebounds while making only 25.9 percent of its field goals, including several chippies down low.
Texas Tech had 22 rebounds and owned the paint on offense. The Red Raiders got 24 points inside, compared to 14 for their much-taller opponents. "We made a couple of late rotations, something we've got to get better at, but it wasn't (anything) that we couldn't fix," Prince said. "It's something we will fix in these next couple days before our home game coming up against Oklahoma."
Texas Tech used an 11-0 run, including a dunk by Crockett, layups by Randy Onwuasor and Kravic and a jumper by Dusty Hannahs, to lead 43-22 at the break. In two losses to Baylor last season, Texas Tech scored just 48 points in each game.
Baylor failed to make a field goal in the final 4:24 of the first half.