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Bears Claw Back to Beat Texas Tech 77-74

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After struggling to find consistent play for the first 26 minutes, Baylor took its first lead with 2:45 remaining to get the Senior Night win over Tech.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

With 2:45 left in the game, Royce O'Neale gave Baylor its first lead of the night in his final game in the Ferrell Center.

Taurean Prince scored a career high 24 points (20 in the 2nd half) along with 9 rebounds. All of his 2nd half points came after the 12:45 mark.

Texas Tech controlled the entire first quarter. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and every time Baylor closed the gap, they hit a couple of shots to stretch the lead back out. The Bears' defense, while it lacked energy for stretches of the first 10 minutes, played decently to close the first half. They closed out on shooters, but Tech just couldn't miss. Devaugntah Williams, in particular, was on fire all night. He finished 8-9 from three to tally 28 points. Leading into tonight, Texas Tech was 2-1 in conference when Williams had scored 20+ points.

Baylor managed to bring the game within 1 by halftime, missing the shot at the buzzed that would have given them the lead.

The Raiders opened up the 2nd half with a 15-5 run to lead 48-37 with 13:35 remaining. Over the next 10 minutes, Baylor went on a 30-18 run to take their first lead 68-65. A dunk by Rico Gathers on the previous possession tied the game. Gathers finished the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds and 5 total dunks.

The game slowed down significantly in the 2nd half. Part of that was the tactical move by Scott Drew to switch to man-to-man defense. The move seemed dubious at first, but it eventually payed off. Tech took fewer threes, got a shot clock violation, and turned the ball over a bit more. Perhaps more importantly, the defensive change encouraged Tech to move away from the rhythm that had been working for them all night. They drove into the paint more, which resulted in some missed layups and sent them to the free throw line, where they finished 8-19 (42%). All those missed free throws threw them out of rhythm and helped Baylor make its comeback.

Kenny Chery finished his senior night 5-10 from the field (4-7 from three) for 18 points, 4 assists, and just 1 turnover.

Lester Medford had another lackluster game. He finished just 1-3 from the field (his only basket coming in transition off a turnover) and had 3 turnovers and 4 fouls. To his credit, he recorded 6 assists, but he passed up several open looks in the 2nd half, and the one time he took the open look, it didn't fall.

O'Neale and Chery both had good games to close out their playing days in Waco. Chery's shooting kept Baylor hanging around all game, Prince's incredible run of 6 consecutive made shot attempts in the 2nd half brought Baylor back, and O'Neale's pair of threes gave Baylor the lead and sealed the win. A nice way to leave Waco.

Here are the stats, per ESPN:


Texas Tech Red Raiders
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Norense Odiase, F 1-4 0-0 1-2 3 1 4 1 0 1 1 4 3
Zach Smith, F 5-7 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 3 0 0 1 4 10
Devaugntah Williams, G 9-14 8-9 2-4 1 0 1 2 1 0 3 2 28
Toddrick Gotcher, G 1-6 0-3 0-3 0 2 2 7 3 1 0 2 2
Robert Turner, G 2-4 0-2 2-2 2 1 3 5 0 0 3 1 6
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Isaiah Manderson, C 3-5 0-0 1-3 2 2 4 0 0 0 1 3 7
Clark Lammert, F 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1
Randy Onwuasor, G 1-2 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 2
Keenan Evans, G 6-10 2-4 1-3 1 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 15
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
28-53 10-19 8-19 13 13 26 22 4 2 12 17 74
52.8% 52.6% 42.1%
Baylor Bears
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Royce O'Neale, F 3-7 2-5 2-2 2 2 4 3 1 1 4 3 10
Rico Gathers, F 7-8 0-0 4-7 2 5 7 1 1 0 1 4 18
Johnathan Motley, F 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
Kenny Chery, G 5-10 4-7 4-4 0 2 2 4 1 0 1 1 18
Lester Medford, G 1-3 0-1 1-1 0 1 1 6 3 0 3 4 3
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Taurean Prince, F 8-14 2-6 6-8 2 7 9 2 2 0 2 3 24
Al Freeman, G 1-1 1-1 1-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4
Ishmail Wainright, G 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
25-44 9-20 18-24 7 19 26 17 8 1 12 17 77
56.8% 45.0% 75.0%

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