Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears host Texas Tech Saturday evening

The 19th ranked Baylor Bears come home to host the 14-9 Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Fresh off of a big road win over Kansas State, the Baylor Bears look to get one more win before a grueling end to the season. The Bears face a closing stretch of 4 ranked games in their final 5, but before they get to that, they have Texas Tech coming to Waco. The Red Raiders are coming off a big home upset win over Iowa State in overtime, their second home overtime win in a row.  Tech hasn't won a game in regulation since a January 18th victory over TCU on the road.

MEDIA INFORMATION

Texas Tech (14-9, 4-7 ) at No. 21/19 Baylor (18-6, 7-4) 

Date

Feb. 13, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. CT

Location

Waco, Texas | Ferrell Center (10,284)

TV

ESPNU

Radio

ESPN Central Texas

Online Audio

Listen Online

Live Stats

Gametracker

Twitter @BaylorMBB

KEYS TO THE GAME

1.  Win the backcourt battle - The Red Raiders are led by the backcourt duo of Devaughntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher, both averaging over 10 points per game.  However, Tech is a very balanced team with 5 players averaging between 8-10 points per.  Keenan Evans and Justin Gray give them some scoring outside of their top-2 guys.  All four of their gaurds (Williams, Gray, Evans and Gotcher) play around 22-28 minutes per game, rotating in and out.  It is a very similar setup to the Bears, with Al Freeman and Lester Medford carrying a bigger load for the Bears, but capable backups in Jake Lindsey and King McClure also able to play larger minutes.  

2. Make them hit 3-pointers - For the second game in a row, the Bears will be going against a poor shooting team.  It paid off for the Bears against Kansas State, who made just 2-14 from 3-point range.  The Red Raiders are not as bad as the Wildcats from deep, but are still not very good.  They shoot just 32.1% from deep this year, but are up to a more respectable 34.3% in Big 12 play.  Theymade just 5-18 against the Bears in their earlier loss in Lubbock.  36% of their shots as a team come at the rim, with 31.6% coming from 3-point range.  The shots at the rim are roughly average, while 3-point shots are in the bottom 3rd of the NCAA. This is a team that prefers to take the ball insideusually by the pass, rather than dribble penetration.  In fact, 51% of their made 2-point shots have been off of an assist, the 17th highest rate in the nation.  They pass well on the interior, and do a good job of penetrating to pass, rather than to finish.  

Baylor's zone defense is excellent at stopping penetration, but struggles with a quick passing game, especially when both posts are involved.  Putting the 5-man (center) in a 2-on-1 choice with two skilled big men is a tough task, and something the Red Raiders will try to do.  The Bears need to pack the paint, and make Tech shoot shots they don't want.  

3. Ball Movement - Do you know the team with the highest percentage of assisted 2-points jumpers?  Baylor, at 67%.  Luckily for the Bears, they take a large percentage of their shots in this manner, with 38% of their shots coming from 2-point range jumpers (24th highest rate).  This carries the Bears offense, along with their tremendous offensive rebounding rates.  The Bears are in the bottom-100 in terms of percantage of shots that come at the rim, or from 3-point range.  Lester Medford is a big key to this, with his ability to drive the ball and kick it to open cutters and slashers.  Taurea Prince and Al Freeman also play big roles with their ability to create off of the dribble and foce help defenders to leave open shots for teammates.  When the ball is moving and the motion in the Bears offense is crisp, this is an elite offense.  

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME?

The Bears wasted a double digit lead in the first half, but got a Lester Medford buzzer beater three-pointer to defeat Texas Tech 63-60 in Lubbock.  Baylor made 50% of their shots, but turned it over 14 times in a game that was marred with turnovers.  Al Freeman led the Bears with 14 points, while Terry Maston scored 12 points off of the bench. Devaugntah Williams led all scorers with 16 points, while Aaron Ross scored 14 points off the bench for the Red Raiders.  Both teams made 5 three-pointers, while Tech won at the free throw line, making 13-15 versus the Bears 8-15.  

PREDICTIONS

KenPom.com – Baylor wins 75-68 (77% chance for win)

Massey.com – Baylor loses 77-68 (80% chance for win)

Tim Watkins, BearsIllustrated.com - Baylor wins 75-62

If the Bears come out with the same energy and defensive intensity they did on the road Wednesday against Kansas State, this game should be a blowout.  With Rico Gathers expected to play, the Bears will have their full lineup back together again, looking to get another tough Big 12 win.  The Red Raiders just do not have the talent to go on the road and get a Top-25 upset win, not yet at least.  They are just 1-5 in true road games, losing by at least 7 points in all five of those games. 


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