Week In Review
Baylor 54 Texas Tech 49
Lubbock, Texas • Attendance: 6,572
I have a theory that there is no such thing as an ugly Big 12 road win but boy did this game test that theory to the max. Baylor survived an abysmal 2nd half offensive performance with strong defense and some clutch free throws to squeak out a 54-49 win in Lubbock over last place Texas Tech. The Bears made just 5 field goals on 25% shooting in the 2nd half and had almost twice as many turnovers (9) as buckets (5) in that stretch. Despite all that, Baylor was able to stay in front throughout the 2nd half and made the plays they needed to in order to close out the win. The game did not start particularly well either as BU allowed Tech to jump out to an early 15-9 lead before Taurean Prince came off the bench and absolutely took over, scoring 18 of Baylor's 34 1st half points on 7-9 from the field. As expected, the Bears were able to shut down the anemic Red Raider offense as Tech was held below 50 points for the sixth time in 10 games. Devaugntah Williams led Tech with 15 points but the rest of the Red Raiders shot just 31.6% from the floor. Aside from Prince's 22 points, Lester Medford was the only other Bear to reach double figure scoring with 10. The bottom line was that Baylor found a way to get the job done and improved to 7-6 in Big 12 play leading up to a weekend matchup with Kansas State over the weekend. And also anytime Baylor plays at Tech, you gotta thank the Internet for all the BU-TT jokes. You the real MVP.
Baylor 69 Kansas State 42
Waco, Texas • Attendance: 8,046
The Bears returned home on Saturday and avenged an earlier loss in Manhattan with a thorough 69-42 stomping of K-State at the Ferrell Center. Baylor followed up arguably its worst offensive performance of the season against Texas Tech with perhaps its best in this game. The Bears assisted on 24 of their 27 baskets and only committed 10 turnovers. Tack on that Baylor shot 49% from the field and was 8-16 from the 3 point line and you have a ridiculously efficient offensive showing. Baylor didn't get out in transition much in this game and was a measly 7-17 from the free throw line, the only things keeping this from being a 30-35 point win. Taurean Prince again led the Bears with 14 points off the bench but Rico Gathers, Al Freeman and Royce O'Neale all pitched in with solid performances as well. Defensively, Scott Drew's crew came up with its second consecutive game holding the opponent below 50 points. The 42 points scored by K-State was the fewest that Baylor had allowed in a Big 12 game since holding TCU to 40 back in 2013. This win moved the Bears to 8-6 in the Big 12 and 20-7 overall, the 7th time in 8 seasons that Baylor has reached the 20 win plateau. For reference, Baylor had only three 20 win seasons prior to Scott Drew's arrival in Waco. All in all, the Bears took care of business this week by beating two teams that they are superior to and will be playing to improve their NCAA Tournament seed over the next three weeks.
Baylor at Iowa State
Hilton Coliseum (Ames, IA)
Feb. 25, 8:00 PM CT
Hilton Magic awaits as the Bears look for their first ever win in Ames on Wednesday night against Iowa State. This matchup has historically been decided by the home court as Scott Drew is 7-1 against ISU in Waco but is 0-7 at Hilton Coliseum. That trend continued earlier this season when Baylor won a 74-73 last-second thriller back on January 14th at the Ferrell Center. The Bears were able to control that game in the paint as Rico Gathers and Johnathan Motley each had 14 points and Baylor outrebounded Iowa State 44-32. The Cyclones got red hot from the 3 point line in the 2nd half but BU was able to make key buckets of their own in order to hold off the hard charge from ISU. The Bears will not be so fortunate if they let Iowa State shoot over 50% from 3 in this game as the Cyclones are 14-0 at home this season and 52-2 over their last 54 in Ames with the losses both coming to Kansas. Baylor will need to play at its absolute best in order to have a shot to win this one.
West Virginia at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Feb. 28, 3:00 PM CT
Baylor returns home on Saturday to face a suddenly red hot West Virginia club. The Mountaineers have won three of their last four since the Bears trounced them 87-69 on February 7th in Morgantown. WVU is coming off a big week in which they beat Kansas at the buzzer on Big Monday and then followed it up with a win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday. West Virginia's pressing defense has reaked havoc for opponents all season long but they have generally struggled at scoring in their halfcourt offense. In the first meeting, Baylor was able to control the pace of the game by getting out ahead of the press and getting multitudes of wide open dunks and 3 pointers. The Mountaineers thrive off of turning live ball turnovers into easy transition baskets and while Baylor did turn the ball over 19 times in that game, the Bears were successful more often than not in playing the game at their comfort level. WVU's leading scorer Juwan Staten has taken on a lesser role in the offense this season but he has heated up of late, going for 20+ in each of the two wins last week. West Virginia's press has been better at home than on the road but Baylor will still need to be well prepared to attack the press just as they did in the first meeting. Baylor basketball also announced this morning that this will be the #EveryoneInBlack game so get to the game Saturday afternoon if you can, be loud and wear black.
Big 12 Update
Kansas continues to lead the pack but they have just a one game lead on Iowa State as the Jayhawks look for their 11th straight Big 12 regular season championship. Baylor currently sits in 5th but was able to put some space between themselves and Oklahoma State and Texas.
|#12 Iowa State||10-4||1||0.714||20-6||0.769||W3|
|#20 West Virginia||9-5||2||0.643||21-6||0.778||W2|
Hard to believe we're just two weeks away from the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. Here's what the field would look like if the tournament started today.
Baylor sits at #12 in KenPom but their AdjD rating went way up this week by virtue of holding Texas Tech and Kansas State to 91 points on 114 possessions (credit to @TWKftw for that stat). That's insanely good. Baylor's resume and advanced numbers have the look of a 3 or 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
|Strength of Schedule||NCSOS|
AP Top 25
Baylor jumped up one spot to 19 in this week's poll. Both of Baylor's opponents also can be found in the top 20.
|AP Top 25|
|24||San Diego State||22-6||117|