Just a fantastic game game all around. This feels like such a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. The Red Raiders did everything that they were supposed to do to win the game. Texas Tech dominated the boards in the first half and shot lights out for pretty much the entire game. We all knew that Baylor would make a run, but Texas Tech was calm, cool, and collected.
Baylor's defense was just abysmal, especially in the first half. Baylor couldn't do anything right and that's what's always held Baylor back from being part of the truly elite teams, which is that his teams traditionally don't play lock-down defense like Kansas does. That's the difference between the two programs and Baylor's lack of defense was on display in a fantastic first half for the Red Raiders where Texas Tech dominated in almost every respect.
Official Site: Recap
Star of the Game | C Dejan Kravic: Kravic finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 1 turnover. Just a fantastic game. More on Kravic in a minute.
1. Dominated the Boards and Defense: Texas Tech had a 35 to 29 rebound advantage, on one of the best rebounding teams in the Big 12, and Texas Tech held a pretty nice rebounding advantage. I'd love to see the split between the first half and the second half as I'd bet that Baylor closed the gap as they were rebounding the offensive glass, but keeping Baylor off the glass was a huge part of the game. You can pick your poison, but Texas Tech either played great defense or Baylor just couldn’t shoot the ball. Baylor only shot 41% from the floor and only 20% from the three-point line. Part of the problem was Baylor just hot hitting on any shots, but I thought Texas Tech’s ability to control the paint was huge. Again, that’s a credit to Kravic, Crockett and Tolbert.
2. Return of Kravic: It couldn't have been more important game for Kravic to show up as he was just huge, in every respect. Kravic's ability to pass the ball, deliver it to his teammates and get on the glass was as big a deal for this team as anything else. Kravic has been uneven for the better part of the year, but with Baylor's big lineup, Texas Tech needed Kravic to show up and defend Austin and create issues in the middle. That's exactly what he did and it was just terrific.
3. Starters Dominated: All of the starters scored in double-figures and every player for Texas Tech shot better than 50%. Robert Turner did a terrific job of controlling the point and handled the pressure from Cherry as good as he could have. Toddrick Gotcher only shot 6 times, but he ended up with 17 points, making 8 of 9 free throws. Crockett was just unbelievable during this game. A high-flying dunking machine. Crockett was just terrific diving to the lane off of Kravic and he led all Texas Tech scorers with 19 points. Jordan Tolbert was integral in his defense, putting a body on Jefferson, which was something he had to do for Texas Tech to win. Jefferson, Baylor's leading scorer, only got off 5 shots and scored 8 points. You can thank Tolbert for that effort.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.