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Prince Lifts Baylor to 54-49 Win Over Texas Tech

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In Baylor's worst offensive game of the season, Taurean Prince was the lone bright spot.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

And we thought it couldn't get uglier than the game in Fort Worth. Oh how wrong we were.

In the 2nd half, Baylor made just 5 field goals as they went 2-11 from deep. Taurean Prince scored 22 points on 9-14 shooting (3-6 3PTA) along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Apart from the first 8 minutes of the 2nd half when Medford scored all 7 of Baylor's points, Prince was the only player who showed anything on the offensive end.

Baylor tallied 16 turnovers, which, although that's just 3 above their season average, was a big part of the offensive woes. The Bears let loose a lot of lazy passes trying to get the ball inside, usually a beat after the window began to close. Even Royce O'Neale, who might have the best passing vision on the team, tried to squeeze a couple of passes into a crowded space.

On the season, Baylor has assisted on 60% of its made field goals. Tonight they collected only 7 assists on 18 makes. The offense never got flowing, and often individuals had to force up shots when the clock was winding down.

The biggest mystery of the night, though, was Rico Gathers. He had just 2 points on 3 shots, no free throws, and only 1 offensive rebound. He did snag 5 defensive rebounds, but there were a lot of balls that bounced off his hands or were a step further than he seemed to have the energy to go. I don't know if he wasn't feeling well or if something else was weighing him down (maybe he was wearing 20 lb weights in each shoe?), but he lacked energy all game. Even at the start of the game, when Tech missed a rebound, Gathers just watched the ball bounce away without going after it, which resulted in an offensive rebound. Normally, Gathers is knocking down his own teammates to get balls like that. Just strange. Hopefully it was a one game blip.

The other notable oddity was Al Freeman's benching about 8 minutes into the game, being replaced by Austin Mills in the rotation for the remainder of the game. Freeman did put up a couple of ill-advised shots that resulted in blocked shots, but it was surprising to see Drew take the hard stance on him. We'll see how that develops.

The stats, per ESPN:

Baylor Bears
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Royce O'Neale, F 3-7 3-5 0-0 0 6 6 1 1 1 3 1 9
Rico Gathers, F 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 5 6 0 1 1 3 3 2
Johnathan Motley, F 2-5 0-1 1-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 2 5
Kenny Chery, G 1-9 0-7 4-4 2 3 5 4 0 0 3 2 6
Lester Medford, G 2-7 2-5 4-4 1 1 2 0 1 0 2 1 10
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Taurean Prince, F 9-14 3-6 1-3 2 2 4 0 3 0 3 1 22
Deng Deng, F 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Austin Mills, G 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
Al Freeman, G 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
Ishmail Wainright, G 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
18-47 8-24 10-13 13 24 37 7 6 2 16 13 54
38.3% 33.3% 76.9%
Texas Tech Red Raiders
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Norense Odiase, F 2-7 0-0 5-6 3 6 9 1 1 1 3 3 9
Zach Smith, F 4-8 1-2 1-6 2 1 3 2 3 2 0 0 10
Devaugntah Williams, G 5-10 3-8 2-2 1 1 2 1 3 0 1 1 15
Toddrick Gotcher, G 3-7 1-3 0-0 3 0 3 0 0 1 1 2 7
Robert Turner, G 1-5 0-2 2-2 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 4 4
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Isaiah Manderson, C 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 0
Clark Lammert, F 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
Aaron Ross, F 1-4 0-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 2
Randy Onwuasor, G 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Keenan Evans, G 1-5 0-4 0-0 0 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 2
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
17-48 5-24 10-16 10 17 27 9 10 7 10 13 49
35.4% 20.8% 62.5%

So, if not for the headline and that box score, you would probably think Baylor lost. When the team has its lowest scoring output in a win -- and tied for lowest on the season -- there's not a lot of positives to dwell on besides Prince's offensive explosion.

Looking on the bright side, Baylor is 7-6 in the Big 12 with another conference road win, and that's all you can really ask for. On to the next game.

Got anything more positive to add? Head to the comments!