Texas Tech (20-5, 8-4) is going to be taking on Baylor (16-8, 7-4) tomorrow at 1pm in the United Supermarkets Arena. In their last match up in Waco, the Bears reigned threes the whole match going for 11-of-29 from beyond the arc. Texas Tech’s inability to hold Baylor to less and giving up 17 turnovers led to a tough 73-62 loss in their three game slide.
This time is going to be a little different. Playing in the USA has proved beneficial for Texas Tech, only having one loss so far: Iowa State in their peak performance of the season. Despite that loss, and the big Kansas loss last year, the United Supermarkets Arena continues to baffle opponents. The home crowd. The Raider Riot. The lock down Texas Tech defense. It’s a premier home court advantage that some schools can only dream of.
Momentum, which often equates to confidence, plays a substantial role in tomorrow’s match up. Baylor has dropped two of their last four games and suffered even worse blows to their roster. Out for tomorrow’s game is forward Tristan Clark and (most likely) guard King McClure. Clark was out for the first match-up, but McClure was one of Baylor’s key defensive players both in rebounding and stealing against Tech. In their stead Baylor will be looking towards both Makai Mason and Jared Butler who had 16 & 19 points respectively in the last match up. Defensively, the Bears will probably have a difficult time repeating the same level of disruption that they did in Waco. 17 turnovers plagued the Red Raiders and since that game Texas Tech has put a lid on the turnover bug, dramatically decreasing opponents’ transitional offense.
If Texas Tech can keep their wits about them on defense as well as limiting turnovers, recent surges in offensive production will leverage Tech over their opponents. Against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech was led by Jarret Culver with 19 points, Matt Mooney with 15 points, Tariq Owens with 11 points and Davide Moretti with 9 points. A rising ability to put multiple scorers on the table - no less in double-digits - is recharging the Red Raiders before the toughest stretch of the season. Against Baylor, a Kenpom No. 42 in defensive efficiency, Texas Tech will need to keep up that mojo.
Find Texas Tech versus Baylor Saturday at 1pm on ESPN.