The Texas Tech Red Raiders (19-11, 8-7) beat the Baylor Bears 84-74 (13-15, 3-12) behind 26 points from Jay Jackson and 22 points from Jon Plefka. Let's get to the DTN box score:
|M Zeno||39||3||5||17||Consistently the best player all year.|
|J Plefka||39||6||1||22||Great production for last home game.|
|D Dora||13||1||1||7||Mental mistakes continually hurt the team.|
|J Jackson||40||3||1||26||Incredibly efficient offensively and goo defensively.|
|C Burgess||27||2||7||5||7 assists was good and lone 3 pointer was big.|
|D White||21||2||1||8||Lots of energy, great defense on Rogers.|
|A Voskuil||14||0||1||0||Set the team to score against the zone.|
|M Prince||6||0||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
|D Suljagic||1||1||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
What Tech Did Right:
- Got the Ball to Their Scorers: The Game was much closer than I would have liked, despite that Tech did a really nice job of getting the ball to Jackson, Zeno and Plefka throughout most of the game. I'd love to see this three be the three that lead Tech into the tournament. Jackson was really good (except from the line where he was 9-13), Zeno had a well-rounded game and Plefka was very efficient as well. When Baylor was in man defense, there was an endless supply of open jumpers. When Baylor switched to zone (I think it was late 1st half and in the 2nd half) the Red Raiders were patient and were able to take advantage of the player diving into the lane. As a unit, Tech shot 56% from the field and they didn't fall in love the the 3 point shot (made 6-12).
- Small Survived: When Dora got his 4th personal foul and Baylor continued to play big, Tech stuck with the smaller lineup and they survived. Tech was out-rebounded again and despite the fact that Baylor had two 7 footers in the lineup, it just wasn't enough. I'd also like to give Tech some credit here for getting some fouls on those big men, but I think most of the credit should go to the officials who seemed a little chippy tonight.
- Stopped Mini-Mullet: Aaron Bruce (i.e. mini-mullet) only managed 3 shots the entire game. That's huge for the Red Raiders. The constant switching on the perimeter didn't allow for the Baylor guards to have a open look most of the night.
- Held Rogers In Check: For the life of me, I can't figure out why Baylor doesn't run set plays for Rogers, nevertheless, I thought that holding him to 12 points and 5 rebounds is a success. Decensae White, when he played Rogers, battled him all night, and I thought White did an excellent job in that respect. Decensae wanted it more than Rogers, but then, Rogers has to play for Baylor, so it all makes sense.
- Solid Perimeter Defense: I know that I've already mentioned it, but credit should be given to the perimter players again who did a masteful job of slowing down the very talented Baylor guards. Excellent job.
What Tech Did Wrong:
- Rebounding: I know and you know that Tech just doesn't rebound the ball well, and it's not that often that Tech will face a team with two 7 foot centers, but Tech has got to do a better job of blocking out in those situations. There were a handful of times where a player went completely unblocked and those types of situations need to stop sooner rather than later. The rebounding didn't hurt Tech so much, because of the excellent shooting, but that won't last forever.
- Dora Was Bad Defensively: Once again, Dora was bad defensively. That's disappointing considering that this was his last home game, but he does make too many mental mistakes. Not to mention, it is painfully obvious that when he is in the game, the team just doesn't rebound as well, nor do they play as good defense.
That's all I'm going to gripe about tonight. It wasn't a perfect victory, but it was a win against an inferior program. There's lots of room for improvement, especially in the post-defense department, luckily, Iowa State isn't necessarily known for their great post players. I think that this type of game really vaults Tech into the NCAA tournament, just so long as the Red Raiders don't get shelacked against Iowa State.