With an incredibly strong effort given throughout the game, it almost seemed as if our guys were completely gassed heading down the stretch.
In a very back and forth second half, it almost seemed as if Baylor really wasn’t in control until the last few minutes of the game. Tech did a good job at keeping All-American guard Jared Butler in check for the majority of the game, but man, did he catch fire when they needed him too. With only seven points coming the whole night, all of them came within the last five minutes, two of which were dagger 3’s late in the shot clock.
It was obvious that Baylor’s defense was smothering in our half court offense, where we turned the ball over a staggering 20 times. It’s hard to beat anybody doing that, let alone the No. 2 team in the country.
McClung was really the only guy to get anything going on the offensive end, carrying the team with 24 points on 8-18 shooting. Kevin McCullar played another consistently solid game, finishing with a double-double of 10/10/3. What really hurt Tech was the complete lack of bench scoring.
With a total of only five bench points, the starters were stuck with carrying nearly all the offensive load. Terrence Shannon Jr. played possibly his worst offensive game of the year, only providing the Red Raiders with two points on 1-7 shooting from the field. Jamarius Burton hit a wide open three, but other than that he was non-existent on the offensive end as well. Baylor proved to be a lot to handle on both ends, but it is what we expected.
All around, it was the exact game that I anticipated to see. I knew we would keep it close and points would be harder to come by for both teams due to the high level of defense. What made the difference was the clutch plays of the Baylor guards, while Tech could not find a bucket when it needed one. But it is alright! They are the No. 2 team in the nation for a reason and they proved that with their play down the stretch.
The Red Raiders are now shifting their attention to a matchup with TCU in Fort Worth. In what is not a bad Horned Frog team, it is definitely one that we should like our chances with. With them and then a home matchup with Iowa State to follow, Tech needs to find a way to go 2-0 this week to stay in the hunt for the Big 12 title.
While it is unlikely that Baylor falls off from the way they are playing right now, all we can do is keep winning and hope for the best.