There’s one more regular season basketball game in Waco this year! Baylor Women’s Basketball (#5, 24-5) hosts the Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-17) at 2pm CT. Baylor has clinched a share of the regular season Big 12 Championship, but they guarantee an outright Championship with a win today.
Win or lose, Texas Tech is locked into the 8th spot in the conference rankings, but they are more than capable of causing an upset, beating (at the time) #9 Texas, #25 Kansas State, and #15 Oklahoma.
Here are three stats that will determine if Baylor closes out the regular season with a win or if Tech walks away with the upset.
Three Point Offense
Baylor is a great shooting team, from both inside and outside the arc. The Bears average a 51% two point shooting percentage (18th in the country) and a 35% three point shooting percentage (40th in the country), so they have different ways to score.
Texas Tech is a good, not great, defensive team. They hold their opponents to 1.9 fewer points per game than their opponents average in other games (140th in the country), and their best defensive stat is opponent’s two point shooting percentage (-3 percentage points, 65th in the country).
Baylor could challenge Tech inside, and they probably will with Smith and Egbo, but they should have a lot more success from deep. Tech allows their opponents to shoot 1.6 percentage points better on three point attempts than their opponents average in other games (255th in the country).
If Baylor’s three point shots are dropping, it’s game over for the Red Raiders.
Free Throw Differential
You should watch this game to support the Bears, but as a forewarning, you’re going to see a lot of free throws.
Both teams are in the top 50 in the country in free throw rate — Baylor at 45th and Tech at 31st — and at least one team (Baylor) commits an above average number of fouls. Baylor’s opponents have a 0.2 percentage point higher free throw rate when they play Baylor relative to their other games (198th in the country). Tech’s opponents have a 2.5 percentage point lower free throw rate when they play Tech (119th in the country).
When Tech beat Texas, they had a 44-19 free throw advantage. When Tech beat Oklahoma, they had a 36-19 free throw advantage. Those are Kansas-MBB-at-home type numbers!
In their previous meeting, Baylor actually won the free throw battle, 22-18. Tech needs a large free throw advantage if they are going to win this game.
Texas Tech has a good offense. They make 47% of their twos (90th in the country) and 35% of their threes (32nd in the country), and they get to the free throw line a lot.
When Tech last played Baylor, they went 11 for 15 from deep (73%), but that volume is on the higher side for the Red Raiders. Ordinarily, Tech has a three point attempt rate of only 24% (329th in the country).
Efficient shooting can be nullified if the team can’t get shots off in the first place, and that’s what I expect to happen this afternoon. Tech’s worst offensive stat is their turnover rate — they turn the ball over on 24% of possessions (256th in the country).
Baylor isn’t particularly adept at forcing turnovers (183rd in the country), but they are excellent at limiting their own turnovers with a turnover rate of 18% (26th in the country). Tech is even worse than Baylor at forcing turnovers (274th in the country).
Underdogs often need a lot of things to go right to pull off the upset. Losing the turnover battle makes it that much harder.
Her Hoop Stats Prediction: Baylor 79, Texas Tech 60