Despite a well-battled first half, the Red Raiders fall to #11 Baylor in Waco on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Red Raiders drop to 12-11 overall and 1-9 in conference play. Texas Tech will look to bounce back against Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Wednesday.
Mark Adams switched things up before tip-off when he set a small ball starting lineup of Kevin Obanor (F), De’Vion Harmon (G), Lamar Washington (G), Kerwin Walton (G), and Jaylon Tyson (G). Despite playing a relatively undersized lineup, Texas Tech seemed to get into an offensive groove fairly early on. With an increase in ball movement and getting more touches on the ball, the Red Raiders saw way more open looks than they had prior to this point in the season. Not only were more guys getting involved offensively, but the defense really stepped up in the first half as well. Texas Tech seemed to adjust from forcing the “no-middle” defense, and actually guarded the perimeter really well. Additionally, we saw the Red Raiders crashing the defensive glass, limiting Baylor’s opportunities for second chance points. In facing a backcourt with shooters as talented as LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler, it was so huge to be able to prevent the ball from getting back out to the perimeter on missed shots. As a team, Texas Tech shot 50% (14-28) from the field in the first half and 25% (2-8) from three.
Unfortunately, we saw a major collapse on both ends of the floor in the second half. The Red Raiders turned the ball over in four of their five consecutive possessions in the early minutes of the half, and allowed Baylor to build on their lead and momentum. Another huge factor of Baylor’s second half run was second chance points. Just as I had suspected, when Texas Tech started allowing the Bears to convert their second chance opportunities, they began pulling away quickly. Not only did the Red Raiders fail to grab as many defensive boards as they had in the first half, the offense also stalled, giving them no chance to cut into the lead.
It seemed like an entirely different team that took the floor after halftime. After such a promising start, the performance displayed in the second half was disappointing to say the least. Despite accumulating a deficit of 30 at one point, there was never a lack of hustle from Jaylon Tyson. Tyson was all over the floor, making plays both offensively and defensively, and was largely the reason this game didn’t get out of control much sooner. With his double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, Tyson had a career afternoon and proved that he can truly be a “franchise guy” to build around in years to come.
After riding such a high from the comeback in Lubbock, it was a little discouraging to see a blowout of such epic proportions in Waco. Turnovers and a lack of culture in the second half killed any momentum we had going into halftime, but such is basketball. Runs in Waco are hard to stop. Regardless, there is still a lot more basketball to play and a lot more time to get these guys ready for a sneaky Big 12 Tournament run.