By Daniel Hill
The Baylor Bears snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday at the Ferrell Center by defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders 75-48.
The game started off slow for the Bears with the team struggling offensively, but all that changed when the Bears shooting started to ignite from three-point range.
Senior guard Pierre Jackson was a nightmare in transition for the Red Raiders by finding open perimeter shooters. Jackson had seven assists in the contest and added 15 points of his own.
“You can’t forget that we were on a three game losing streak,” Jackson said. “This one meant a lot for us to keep our confidence high. I hate losing and this was big for us. We got to keep it going.”
The Bears lived off of three-pointers in the first half by starting the game with a Jackson three pointer. Then 7-foot-1 freshman center Isaiah Austin stepped outside and buried a trey.
The three-point barrage continued from there as Heslip hit yet another three.
Jackson led a blistering fast break and penetrated into the paint only to find Heslip open for another three to give Baylor a 16-14 lead.
In the first half alone, junior guard Brady Heslip had nine points on three of four shooting from behind the three-point line.
The Bears went on an impressive 15-0 run to take a 26-14 lead in the first half.
With a 12-point lead, Baylor started to put on a dunking display. Sophomore guard Deuce Bello threw down a two-handed jam. On the next possession, junior forward Cory Jefferson hammered home a one-handed slam.
With the Ferrell Center crowd of 7,750 fans enjoying an acrobatic aerial display of Baylor basketball, the noise escalated to a new level when Jackson tossed up an alley-oop for Jefferson. He capitalized on the perfect lob from Jackson by dunking it with ferocious fervor. This gave the Bears a 32-18 lead and led to absolute pandemonium inside the arena.
The Bears went into the locker room at halftime with a 37-25 lead over the Red Raiders.
In the second half, Baylor was on fire at both ends of the floor and the route was officially on as Baylor scored 38 points in the second half and held Tech to just 23 points with demonizing defense.
Three Baylor Bears scored double-digit points. Jackson and Jefferson led all scorers by posting 15 points each. Austin scored 13.
Jefferson and Austin not only had double-digits in scoring, but they also reached double-digits in rebounds to lead to double-doubles. Jefferson had 10 rebounds, but Austin led the way with 13 boards.
The Bears earned a much needed victory after losing three straight. By defeating Tech by such a wide margin, 27 points, this victory served as a confidence boost for the Bears.
“I thought we’ve been improving, but we’ve been on the short end,” head coach Scott Drew said. “Defensively, we were very good tonight. The big thing is that I thought that we really took care of the ball, 22 assists on 26 field goals; all but four were assisted and only 13 turnovers. That was big. We were able to keep them out of transition and we were successful in scoring in transition so I’m most pleased with that.”
The Bears have another home game on Wednesday as they host West Virginia. The Bears are now 6-4 in conference and 15-8 overall. With two home games back to back, Baylor has a chance to put together a winning streak to protect home court and gain some momentum heading down the final stretch of the season.
“We lost one with Oklahoma that we shouldn’t have lost at home,” Austin said. “In the Big 12, you always want to win home games. If we can get these two in a row, then that would be great for us.”