By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer
Baylor men’s basketball continued its winning ways in Lubbock on Saturday, beating No. 15 Texas Tech 68-60. The Bears are one of four remaining undefeated teams in the nation, the only Power Five undefeated team, and the only team to have won all their games by at least 8 points.
“It’s hard to win on the road, but to me, this was the first game all year… that really felt like a road Big 12 game,” head coach Scott Drew said. “I think the players played off that energy and it affected us at the line and in some things that we did. Usually it takes a game like that to get you used to it and do a better job handling the nerves.”
Three Baylor players hit double figures in the points column as guards MaCio Teague, Adam Flagler and Davion Mitchell scored 12, 15 and 19 points respectively. Three Bears tied for the team lead in rebounds with Mark Vital, Jared Butler, Mitchell and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua each grabbing five boards.
Baylor’s depth has been a strong point all season long, and the reserve unit showed up again in Lubbock. Baylor’s bench scored 26 points over the course of the game while Tech’s backups contributed only five. The Bears were also stellar in transition, scoring 22 points on the fast break to the Red Raiders’ 12.
The first half saw strong performances from both defenses. Mitchell led the Bears with 10 points, a rebound and an assist. On the other side of the court, Texas Tech star Mac McClung finished the half with seven points and a rebound to spearhead the Red Raiders. Neither team was really able to get much going on offense. Baylor shot 35% from the field in the half, along with 38% from beyond the arc and an uncharacteristically weak 25% from the free throw line. Despite their offensive struggles, Baylor took a 26-18 lead into the halftime break.
The second half was much more tense than the first, with Baylor seeing one of their largest deficits all season with just over 16 minutes left to play. Mitchell put another nine points on the board, and Flagler was able to match that number. Butler struggled mightily in the first half, but was able to shake off some of his rust to score seven points in the latter half of the contest. The last eight minutes helped seal the deal for the Bears, and Drew felt like it was something the team can build on.
“Sometimes as coaches and as fans we set the bar so high for ourselves, and when you have two top five defenses playing in a great environment like that, it’s not easy,” Drew said. “So you got to be happy with the eight minutes and the first half defense and grow from it and get better.”
Baylor had yet to play a close game this season, but Mitchell felt that the team benefited from having to fight for a win.
“Definitely preparing us for the NCAA tournament and even the Big 12 tournament, it’s very helpful,” Mitchell said.
Baylor will welcome No. 6 Kansas to the Ferrell Center on Monday for a marquee matchup between two of the Big 12’s top teams. The game is slated for 8 pm on ESPN.