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Texas Tech drops second straight Big 12 game at Baylor

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The Red Raiders failed to capitalize on a 16-4 lead to start the game.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive game, Texas Tech fans were left disappointed at the result of what was supposed to be a win. After coming into the game as four point favorites and half a game up on Kansas, it seemed like this game was the perfect opportunity to exercise the demons of a tough loss to Iowa State on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, the way the game played out answered very little questions in terms of the overall status of the team. As the final buzzer sounded on a 73-62 win for Baylor, it was evident the Red Raider team that was buzzing just one week ago was completely lifeless.

The first eight minutes of the game went extremely well for Texas Tech, as they managed to build a 23-10 lead after jumping out on a 16-4 run to start the game. In that eight minute stretch, Tech had six assists. The next 32 minutes they would only have six more. A few threes for Baylor kept them in the game, and then Tech’s offense went cold, failing to make a single field goal for the next eight minutes. A Jarrett Culver layup finally ended the eight minute drought, however Baylor would close the half on a 23-8 run to lead by two heading into the locker room. Jarrett Culver had six points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals to lead the way for the Red Raiders, however his four turnovers also hurt the team’s offensive performance.

The second half started like the first half ended: with Baylor taking advantage of horrendous offense from Texas Tech to generate easy buckets. A timeout from Chris Beard only two minutes into the half was necessary, however the team continued to struggle on offense. A couple contested threes from Baylor made the lead stretch to 13 points, however a run spearheaded by Brandone Francis and Davide Moretti got the Red Raiders back into the game. That run would culminate in a chance for Kyler Edwards to take the lead on a three with just over four minutes left. He missed, and Baylor would extend their lead to 58-53 on another contested triple. Tech would never get another opportunity to take the lead, and after a strange last couple minutes in which Baylor somehow ended up with six points in a span of one full possession (due to a questionable Brandone Francis flagrant foul) and a play that was nearly a turnover by Makai Mason. Ultimately Baylor ended the game on a 18-9 run to win by 11.

Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders in points (19), rebounds (nine), assists (five), turnovers (seven), and steals (three). Brandone Francis added 14 points, while Davide Morretti put up 13 points on only four shots. Jared Butler led Baylor with 19 points on 7-15 shooting. Makai Mason added 16 points and four threes for the victorious Bears.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The loss keeps Texas Tech in a four way tie for first in the Big 12, however it is disappointing for the team after they gained a brief advantage over Kansas due to the Jayhawks’ loss in Morgantown.

Key Stats:

  • Baylor made 11 threes, which was the most of any team Tech has faced this year.
  • Texas Tech only had 12 assists after having six assists in the first eight minutes. The team has yet to have a game with more than 15 assists in Big 12 play. No other team in the conference can say that.
  • Adding onto the previous stat: Tech has one game in conference play with a positive assist to turnover ratio. Not many teams win NCAA Tournament games with more turnovers than assists. The main culprits behind this stat are Jarrett Culver and Matt Mooney.
  • On Culver’s side: his seven turnovers were a career high for him, which is not a good thing. His assist% to turnover % ratio was actually positive, which indicates he was relatively efficient at distributing the ball to players on actual passing situations,, and that most of his turnovers came off dribbling situations. Tech desperately needs another ball handler to pair with Culver. If Mooney or Moretti aren’t able to drive it makes sense to insert Kyler Edwards (who has shown good potential on drives) into the lineup.
  • For Mooney: this game was his ninth in a row and 16th overall game with multiple turnovers. At this point he is an offensive liability, as his assist-Turnover % ratio is negative, his three point % is .25 against top 100 opponents, and his ORTG is at 93.9, which ranks in the 21st percentile nationwide. His ORTG vs. top 100 teams is 84.9 (in nine games). I love Matt’s hustle on the defensive end, but at this point Kyler Edwards or Deshawn Corprew are statistically more valuable.
NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
  • Davide Moretti had his sixth consecutive game in double figures. Despite having really low usage rates in Big 12 play (only one game with higher than 16% usage), Moretti has still managed to put up good numbers. It would make sense for Coach Beard to utilize Moretti more in on-ball situations.