By: Wes Bloomquist
WACO, Texas – Fighting back from being down 15 in the first half against the reigning national champion and only remaining unbeaten team in the country, No. 19 Texas Tech knocked off No. 1 Baylor with a 65-62 win on Tuesday at the Ferrell Center.
The Red Raiders (12-3, 2-1 Big 12) earned their second win over a top-ranked team in program history, beat top-10 teams in back-to-back games for the third time, and snapped a five-game losing streak in Waco. The loss ended a 21-game winning streak for Baylor (15-1, 3-1 Big 12) which won the 2021 National Championship and was the only unbeaten team in the nation remaining. The Bears started the game on a 9-0 run and led by 15 midway through the opening half before Tech rallied to be back in the game at 31-26 going into halftime.
“We showed a lot of determination, grit, and character,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “I’m very proud of them and blessed to be their coach. We could have just quit in about that first 10 minutes. But the guys just hung around and kind of got back in it at halftime, and then were able to gain some momentum as the game went on.”
Adonis Arms led Tech with 14 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and five assists in the game, while Kevin Obanor and Bryson Williams both scored 13 points. Kevin McCullar returned to the lineup after missing the first two Big 12 games and contributed 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Clarence Nadolny added 11 points for his second straight game in double figures after scoring a career-high 17 in the win over No. 6 Kansas. McCullar’s 12 points included seven in the second half with two 3-pointers, the second giving Tech its largest lead of the game at 59-52 with 2:39 on the clock. The Bears would fight back though, pulling to within two before an electric dunk by Arms and a jumper by Williams with 46 seconds remaining gave Tech a 63-57 lead.
Davion Warren had not scored all night but would knock down two free throws with 22 seconds remaining to take a one-point lead to the 65-62 final score. Down the entire first half, Tech tied the game for the first time at 33-33 two minutes into the second half with a Williams and one and led for the first time at 47-46 with Nadolny hitting a free throw with 10 minutes to play. Williams hit a 3-pointer to give Tech a 54-52 lead with five minutes to play and the lead grew to seven with Arms getting a putback before McCullar’s 3-pointer.
Obanor shot 6-for-11 from the field with a 3-pointer and also added four rebounds, while Williams hit five shots and had five rebounds. Arms scored his team-high 14 points by going 7 of 13 from the field and also led Tech with three offensive rebounds. He was just one rebound shy of his first double-double of the season.
“We prepared well and again got emotionally ready,” Adams said. “I told these guys, there’s 350 Division I schools or more out there and they’d all love to be playing the No. 1 team. It was a great opportunity for us and thank goodness we took advantage of it.”
The Red Raiders finished the game with 16 assists on a night where they hit 28 shots and owned a 36-22 scoring advantage in the paint. Tech shot 50.9 percent from the field despite going just 4-for-14 on 3-pointers. Baylor finished the game shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 8-for-24 on 3-pointers. Adam Flagler and James Akinjo led BU with 17 points each, while LJ Cryer had 10 points.
Tech trailed by as many as 15 in the first half but would close out the half on a 10-0 run to make it 31-26 going into the break. Williams led the Red Raiders with seven points and had three rebounds at halftime, while Nadolny and Arms had six points each. Arms also led the team with five rounds and four assists and McCullar had five points and three assists. Tech had nine assists on 12 shots in the opening half and was shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 1 of 6 on 3-pointers. Baylor led throughout the half by starting the game on a 9-0 run and finished the first half shooting 12-for-28 overall and was 5-for-10 on 3-pointers. Flagler led BU with 12 points after going 4 of 6 on 3-pointers while Tchamwa Tchatchoua had eight rebounds. Baylor had a 17-13 rebounding advantage going into the second half.
Tech is now 2-7 all-time against No. 1-ranked opponents in program history. The Red Raiders earned a 70-57 win over then-No. 1 Louisville at the 2019 Jimmy V Classic in New York. Tech is now 1-6 against top-ranked teams from the Big 12… Tech also secured back-to-back top-10 wins back in 2002 with wins over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State who were both at No. 6 and then again in 2007 with wins over No. 5 Kansas and No. 6 Texas A&M in… The Red Raiders improved to 81-62 all-time over the Bears and ended a four-game losing streak… Tech is now 30-38 all-time in Waco, snapping the five-game losing streak at the Ferrell Center and earning its first road win of the season.
- Obanor threw down a dunk to begin the second half off an assist from Williams on the first possession of the second half to continue momentum from the 10-0 run to close the first half… Tech’s 12-0 run would end on an Akinjo jumper on BU’s next possession
- Williams converted an and-one to tie the game at 33 just 1:30 into the second half before a fastbreak layup by McCullar made it 35-35
- Obanor hit a 3-pointer with 13 minutes to play to cut Baylor’s lead to 41-40… It was Obanor’s first 3-pointer of the game and he followed it with a layup a minute later (44-42 Baylor lead)
- Nadolny hit a tough layup with 11 minutes remaining to cut Baylor’s lead to 46-44… Nadolny had 10 points after the basket
- Nadolny gave Tech its first lead of the game at 47-46 (9:52) by making the front-end of two free throws… It came after an Obanor dunk to tie the game
- Williams drilled a 3-pointer off an Arms assist for a 54-52 lead with five minutes to play… Tech was only 3 of 12 on 3-pointers after Williams hit the shot to give the Red Raiders the two-point lead
- Arms pushed the lead to 56-52 with a putback of his own miss, outrebounding the Bears on the loose ball… A McCullar 3-pointer gave Tech a 59-52 lead with 2:39 on the clock
- Flagler hit a 3-pointer for Baylor to cut Tech’s lead to 59-57 with 1:39 to play in the game
- Arms threw down a dunk on the other end to give Tech a 61-57 lead before a Williams jumper pushed advantage back to 63-57… Akinjo hit a 3-pointer for Baylor to make it a three-point game with 36 seconds remaining
- Warren hit a pair of free throws to make it 65-62 with 19 seconds remaining
- Baylor started the game on a 9-0 run… The Bears won the tip and scored on its first possession with a Flagler 3-pointer and led 9-0 on another Flagler 3-pointer
- Tech responded with a 7-0 run of its own to make it 9-7… Scoring for the first time on its fourth possession on an Arms runner to make it 9-2 just over two minutes into the game before baskets from Williams and Nadolny to cut it to two… Baylor ended the run with a Cryer 3-pointer
- Baylor with a 12-0 run to make it 21-7 on a Meyer jumper after Flagler’s third 3-pointer of the half
- Arms ended the run with a corner jumper to make it 21-9 with 10 minutes remaining until halftime… McCullar hit a 3-pointer to cut Baylor’s lead to 24-14 for his first points of the game on his first shot
- Arms slashed to the basket for a layup to cut it to 31-20 with 3:15 remaining until the break… Arms had a team-high six points after the layup
- Tech closed out the second half on a 10-0 run to cut Baylor’s lead to 31-26 with Williams starting it with a layup to make it 31-18 with 5:23 on the clock before a layup from Arms, another by basket from Williams and two the two by Nadolny
Texas Tech returns to action against Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the United Supermarkets Arena before playing at Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas to complete a three-game week. The Red Raiders and Cowboys were originally scheduled to play on New Year’s Day before having it rescheduled to Thursday due to health and safety protocols within the OSU program.