Baylor Beats Texas

By Chad Conine, The Sports Xchange

WACO, Texas — Texas Tech had a shot to be the fourth team to knock off one of the nation’s top five this week.
But Baylor forward Ishmail Wainright got his hand up and blocked Texas Tech guard Keenan Evans’s 3-point attempt with two seconds left, preserving the fifth-ranked Bears’ 65-61 victory on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.
“Ish is a great defensive player and he made a great play,” Baylor forward Johnathan Motley said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. We knew this was going to be a hard-fought game. We just tried to make sure we played defense, make them shoot over hands, and rebound.”
Motley scored 25 and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Baylor and guard Manu Lecomte added 10. The Bears made 26 of 28 free throws.
Guard Aaron Ross scored 14 to lead Texas Tech, guard Justin Gray added 12, all in the first half, and Evans finished with 10.
Evans hit a pair of free throws with 38 seconds left to cut Baylor’s lead to two. Then the Red Raiders got the stop they needed when forward Zach Smith grabbed a defensive rebound with nine seconds left.
But Wainright made the key block, which was followed by a whistle and an officials’ conference.
Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said he was told it was an inadvertent whistle and the possession arrow gave the ball to Baylor.
“I thought we played it to the bone, I thought we played it correctly,” Beard said. “Coming down like that, I’d like to shoot the 3 and either win the game or go get on the bus. Baylor played good defense. I thought they played it clean.”
Bears guard Al Freeman made two free throws with .5 seconds left to boost the margin to four points.
Baylor (19-1, 7-1 Big 12) improved to 12-0 at home this season and moved into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with 12-time defending champion Kansas.
“You’ve got to win your home games because that’s what Kansas does every year,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Texas Tech (14-6, 3-5), which fell by 19 points at home against Oklahoma State on Saturday, has now lost back-to-back games for the first time all season.
The Red Raiders, which trailed throughout the second half, cut Baylor’s lead to one when guard Shadell Millinghaus came up with a steal and got the ball ahead to Evans for a fastbreak layup.
But guard Jake Lindsey immediately answered for Baylor by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Lecomte followed with a crucial trey to put Baylor ahead by five with 2:40 remaining.
Before that, Baylor stayed in front at the free throw line. Motley sunk 15 of 16 from the free-throw line, making up for a night when he hit just 5 of 12 from the field.
“Tonight, if we don’t make free throws like that, we weren’t winning,” Drew said.
Baylor started the game on a 12-2 run sparked by Lecomte and Freeman each hitting 3-pointers in the first four minutes.
But Texas Tech fought back, led by Gray, who scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first 20 minutes. Gray got hot from the field to score eight points during the Red Raiders’ 14-3 run midway through the half.
Forward Aaron Ross put the Red Raiders ahead 29-28 when he made two free throws with 1:24 left in the first half.
Baylor went more than 10 minutes without making a field goal, allowing Texas Tech to claw back. After Lecomte and Freeman’s treys to start the game, the Bears missed their next nine shots from beyond the arc.
But Baylor made up for the field goal drought at the free throw line as the Bears made 16 of 18 free shots in the first half.
Motley led Baylor with 13 points in the first half. He made just 1 of 4 field goals, but connected on 11 of 12 free throws.
Forward Terry Maston broke Baylor’s dry spell from the field when he got inside for a basket that gave the Bears the 32-31 lead they took to the break.

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