By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
No. 4 Baylor men’s basketball fell to Texas Tech 84-78 Monday night in Lubbock.
The Bears (22-4, 9-4) got a career performance from sophomore forward Terry Maston but were unable to overcome foul trouble and the Red Raiders’ (17-9, 5-8) hot shooting.
The Red Raiders started strong, scoring the first six points of the game and prompting Baylor head coach Scott Drew to call a timeout just two minutes in.
Texas Tech didn’t stop, however, as junior forward Zach Smith drained a three-pointer, and junior guard Keenan Evans knocked down a mid-range jumper to give the Red Raiders an 11-0 advantage.
Substitutions helped the Bears early as Maston came off the bench and scored the first four points of the game for Baylor.
Maston continued to operate as the focal point of the offense, knocking down two free throws and scoring on a layup and a floater to cut the lead to 18-15 midway through the first half.
Smith hit a three at the end of the shot clock to give the Red Raiders a 26-22 lead, but Baylor junior guard Manu Lecomte scored seven straight points to give the Bears their first lead with five minutes remaining in the half.
The Bears closed the half on a 7-0 run including a three and pull-up jumper from Lecomte to give Baylor a 36-32 lead at the end of the first period.
Baylor junior forward Johnathan Motley, the team’s leading scorer, was held scoreless in the first half while Maston and Lecomte led the team with 12 points each.
The Bears jumped out quickly in the second half as sophomore guard King McClure drove the lane for two and Motley found junior forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. for the alley-oop to give Baylor a 40-33 lead.
Motley began to find his groove after the break, scoring on a layup, a jumper and at the foul line to extend the Bears’ lead to 46-37 just four minutes into the second half.
The Red Raiders fought back into the game with junior guard Niam Stevenson converted on an and-one while junior forward Justin Gray and Evans each chalked up two at the line to cut the Baylor lead to two.
Maston scored six-straight points for the Bears to make it a 59-53 game, but Texas Tech fought back again with Gray scoring on a put back and a free throw to make it a three point game.
With eight minutes remaining, Lecomte was called for an offensive foul and a technical after exchanging words with an official, fouling him out of the game.
The Red Raiders stormed back into the lead following the technical foul, with senior forward Aaron Ross scoring seven points to give Texas Tech a 69-63 advantage with four minutes remaining.
Gray nailed a jumper with one minute remaining to give the Red Raiders a nine-point lead. A dunk from Lual-Acuil Jr. made it an 80-75 game with 27 seconds left, but Texas Tech iced the game with free throws to win it 84-78.
Maston scored a career-high 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead the Bears while Evans led the Red Raiders with 23 points including 11-for-14 from the free throw line.
The Bears look to bounce back as they face No. 3 Kansas at 12 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center.