Story by DJ Ramirez | Sports Writer, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Sports Director
Baylor men’s basketball defeated No. 8 Texas Tech 73-62 Saturday night at the Ferrell Center in a contest that was largely dominated by the Bears’ defense.
The win came on the 92nd anniversary of the Immortal Ten team and was played in front of a crowd of 9,018 fans. Baylor’s victory over the Red Raiders marked head coach Scott Drew’s 307th win at Baylor and the program’s 22nd win over a ranked opponent in the last five years.
The Red Raiders held a 13-point advantage for the majority of the first half until Baylor came back to tie the game with several 3-point shots. Within 40 seconds of tying the game at 29, the Bears took the lead and extended it to end the half with a score of 33-31. The Bears began the game on a man defense but switched to zone and managed to minimize runs and force a significant amount of turnovers, which according to Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard, was Baylor’s key to victory.
“We knew Baylor’s a 3-point shooting team. Coach Drew’s done a great job,” Beard said. “Today they beat us with a 3-point shot. We turned the ball over too much and they out-rebounded us.”
While Baylor dominated the second half of the game, Tech returned from a 13-point deficit to make the score 55-53, to which the Bears answered with a 3-point shot hit by freshman guard Jared Butler. Baylor then cemented the win with 10 straight free throws. Butler was responsible for 19 points, sharing game high honors with Red Raiders sophomore guard Jarrett Culver.
Graduate transfer guard Makai Mason scored 16 points for the Bears and hit four of the team’s 11 3-pointers as well as converting all four of his free throw attempts in the second half. Mason said the Bears won the game with their shot-making.
“I think we just kept our composure, honestly. I mean, we knew they were going on a run,” Mason said. “I don’t think it was easy on the offensive end. To be honest, it still felt hard for us, but we were able to knock some shots down.”
Coming off a big win against Oklahoma State on Monday, the Bears are only half a game behind first place in the Big 12, with four teams tied for first. Drew said every team in the league is capable of beating one another.
“We learned early on this year we could beat anybody or we could lose to anybody,” Drew said. “I think you learn more sometimes in your loses and just understanding we have to be prepared each and every game, otherwise in the Big 12 you’re not going to give yourself a chance to win.”
The Bears will play again on Monday against the West Virginia Mountaineers, who achieved their first conference win on Saturday, upsetting No.7 Kansas 65-64. The game will take place 8 p.m. in Morgantown, W.Va.