LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Keyonte George scored 27 points, and No. 21 Baylor defeated Texas Tech 81-74 on Tuesday night.
George scored 18 points in the second half as the Bears (13-5, 3-3 Big 12) won their third in a row. LJ Cryer added 18 points, and Jalen Bridges finished with 14 for Baylor, which returned to the AP Top 25 this week.
“Just a typical Big 12 basketball game,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “A very hard-fought game. When you go on the road you’re going to have to earn it. I was really proud of our guys with 16 assists and three turnovers. They did a really good job.”
Jaylon Tyson led Texas Tech (10-8, 0-6) with 19 points, while Pop Isaacs added 14, Fardaws Aimaq had 12 and Kevin Obanor added 10. The Bears took control early in the second half with a 20-9 run that gave them a 70-54 lead, but the Raiders chipped away, cutting the gap to 77-71.
George scored Baylor’s first 13 points of the second half and provided a consistent offensive spark throughout.
“They did a great job finding me when I was open,” he said. “For us, it’s all about winning and trying to make winning plays.”
Texas Tech drew within five points with 55 seconds left on an Isaacs free throw. The Raiders grabbed the offensive rebound on his second free throw, but they were unable to convert.
“It’s tough going through losses,” Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams said. “Four of the six have been two- or one-possession games. I was proud of our guys for fighting hard. We’re competing, and we’re going to keep playing hard. We have to keep our heads up. It’s no different in life. You learn from adversity, and you can’t give up. You have to keep fighting.”
Both teams shot the ball well in the first half, each connecting on more than 50 percent from the floor. Baylor broke a 22-22 tie with a 7-0 run highlighted by a 3-pointer from George. The Bears hit 18 of 35 from the floor, including 7 of 15 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes while Tech was 15 of 26 and also 7 of 15 from beyond the arc.
The Red Raiders closed the gap to 40-36 before Cryer converted a 3-pointer after the Bears grabbed an offensive rebound. The Bears stretched the lead to 48-38 on another 3-pointer by Cryer before Isaacs drove the lane and scored to pull Tech within 48-40 at intermission.
Baylor converted 11 of 29 from 3-point range in building its advantage midway through the second half. Texas Tech is now 0-6 against members of the AP Top 25 and it will face its fourth consecutive ranked team on Saturday.
Texas Tech plays at No. 13 Kansas State on Saturday.
Baylor plays at Oklahoma on Saturday.