Bears, Bruce bury Red Raiders

The Baylor Bears are on a roll and the rest of the Big 12 is perhaps quietly thanking the NCAA. Baylor won their 2nd straight and 4th out of their last 5 home games when it defeated Texas Tech in Waco 78-66. Who knows how dangerous these Bears could have been early in the Big 12 season had they had a non-conference season.

The return of Aaron Bruce is complete. After being named a freshman All-American last season, Bruce has struggled most of his sophomore season while suffering through numerous injuries.

But in the last few games, Bruce appears to either be feeling better or at least learning to play through the injuries. His resurgence culminated in a masterful display of shooting against the Red Raiders hitting 6 of 7 from 3-point land and 10 of 14 overall for 28 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Bruce was joined in double figure scoring by 3 other Bears including senior Tommy Swanson, who gave Baylor a lift with 12 points. Swanson, the lone holdover from the Dave Bliss era, then addressed the crowd after the game thanking them for their support.

Curtis Jerrells added 11 points that didn't come easily as he shot just 2 of 9 from the floor. But it was Jerrells 6 straight free throws in the last couple of minutes of the game that proved crucial to Baylor's victory. Patrick Fields had another strong performance off the bench putting up 14 points.

With freshman guard Henry Dugat missing his second straight game, the lone other senior for the Bears, Kevis Shipman, was able to see extended minutes in the ball game. Although he didn't fill up the box score only accumulating 2 points, Shipman provided an emotional lift to the team as they wanted to send the seniors out with a win. Shipman also addressed the audience after the game along with Coach Scott Drew, who thanked the fans for making the Ferrell center a tough place to play the second half of the season.

Tech was led once again by Jarius Jackson, who scored 25 points. The problem for Tech was that he took 23 shots and 12 free throws to get there. Tech's second leading scorer, Martin Zeno, struggled for the second straight game only getting to 5 points on 1 of 6 shooting.

The Bears finish their regular season on Saturday in a game at Oklahoma State. Baylor will try to avenge an earlier loss they suffered to the Cowboys in Waco.

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