The No. 22 Baylor men’s basketball team travels to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech at 2 p.m. Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
The Bears (13-3, 3-1), who have only won one game on the road this season, look to turn things around but are facing a tough Texas Tech (11-4, 1-3) team that has gone 9-1 at home.
If the Bears want to come out with the win, they will need to shut down the Red Raiders’ leading scorer, senior guard Devaugntah Williams who has averaged 13.6 points per game.
Having won 10-straight games earlier in the season, the Red Raiders know the how it feels to win, which is something they strive to get after losing three straight and being placed at the bottom of the rankings in the Big 12.
However, the Red Raiders are no strangers to tough games, having kept all their conference game losses within a respectablee 13 points loss or less.
“I personally think the Big 12 is the best conference in America,” said sophomore guard Al Freeman. “Every night we’re going to be playing against tough teams, and you can lose on any given night. You’re going to have teams taking you down to the wire every single night, so this was good for us.”
While the Bears know the feeling of defeat like the Red Raiders, it is something they don’t want to experience again, and to do that they need to work as a team.
Strong team efforts have been noted all throughout the season, most recently coming Wednesday night against TCU.
After a slow start to Baylor’s offense in the first half, it was team effort that contributed to a 13-0 run to give Baylor a 41-31 lead going into halftime.
“We got out and started running and saw what worked as a team and started getting stops,” said sophomore forward Terry Maston. “That really helped us on the offensive end, brought confidence to us. The game just came to us, and we ran away with it in the second half.”
Head coach Scott Drew said when everyone is playing together, good things start to happen.
“To have a good team you need to have good balance, so you can’t depend on someone’s shot always falling,” Drew said. “You better defend and you better rebound. You need multiple people to score because some nights you’re on and some you’re not.”
They key to take the win may come from what Drew has made known regularly, which is the importance of starting out every game at a fast pace and with a game plan in mind.
“We emphasize it every game, just sometimes in games it happens and in some games it doesn’t,” Drew said. “In this league especially, if you can’t get stops and score in transition, the guards play so good and it’s tough to get a lot of stops.”
“The key is getting one-and-done on the glass, and allowing us to get in transition so we can score. When we can score, then we can set our defense.”