Tech falls to unbeaten No. 4 Baylor men, 73-60

No. 22 guard A.J. Walton tries to get around Texas Tech's No. 5 guard Javarez Willis during the Bears' trip to Lubbock, Saturday.
Stephen Spillman | Associated Press/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

By The Associated Press

LUBBOCK — Texas Tech got off to a strong start Saturday against No. 4 Baylor. The Red Raiders just couldn’t keep it up.

Javaris Willis scored 13 points but Texas Tech struggled at the beginning of the second half and lost 73-60 to the Bears.

“We came out with a lot of intensity the first half, then the second half we just kind of died down,” Willis said. “The first few offensive plays we didn’t get nothing, so I felt like it kind of affected our defense.”

Ty Nurse added 10 for Texas Tech, but coach Billy Gillispie wasn’t interested in singling anyone out for praise.

“We had a bunch of guys do OK,” he said. “OK doesn’t get it against a very good team.”

Asked if he felt good that his team hung around until halftime, Gillispie was clear about his expectations.

“I couldn’t care less about hanging around,” he said. “I want to dominate. I’m a dominating guy.”

Pierre Jackson had 19 points and Brady Heslip scored 16 for the Bears (15-0, 2-0 Big 12), who are off the best start in school history. Quincy Miller finished with 15.

Baylor held off the Red Raiders (7-7, 0-2) after building an 11-point lead midway through the second half. Texas Tech put together a 9-2 run to close to 55-51 with 8:17 remaining, but the rally fizzled from there.

The Red Raiders committed eight turnovers in the second half, compared to four after halftime for the Bears.

Baylor coach Scott Drew said protecting the ball down the stretch made the difference.

“I think first and foremost we had to take care of the ball and not turn it over and just be ball strong, cut harder, and I think that as effective,” he said. “Second thing is we made some defensive adjustments to try to help out with things.”

The Red Raiders made it easy for the Bears at the start of the second half. Their first six possessions included three turnovers and a missed layup. Nurse’s 3-pointer with 14:24 left was Texas Tech’s first field goal of the second half and trimmed Baylor’s lead to 46-38.

The Bears, meanwhile, scored on 10 of their first 11 possessions to go up 51-40 on a powerful dunk by Quincy Acy with about 13 minutes remaining.

Jackson had eight points — a 3-pointer, two field goals and a free throw — in Baylor’s 14-2 run to open the second half.

The Bears led 32-31 at halftime.

Tech started out strong. Robert Lewandowski got two buckets during a 7-2 run that gave the Red Raiders a 20-15 lead with 8:15 left in the first half.

Baylor struggled to finish inside and Tech’s defense was sharp, forcing six turnovers in the game’s first 12 minutes. Tech had three fruitless possessions and didn’t score for about four minutes. But Baylor continued to have turnover woes and the Red Raiders still led 23-21 at the 3:40 mark.

The Bears eventually heated up. Heslip hit back-to-back 3s to give the Bears a 30-27 advantage.