LUBBOCK (AP) – Tested by Texas Tech, Pierre Jackson and Baylor looked inside to extend their perfect start.
Jackson had 19 points, Brady Heslip scored 16 and the fourth-ranked Bears beat the Red Raiders 73-60 on Saturday.
“We tried to match their physicalness in the paint because they were pounding it in,” said Jackson, a 5-foot-10 guard who also had seven assists. “We had to get Q Acy (Quincy Acy) and Perry Jones going, so we decided to get it in there.”
Quincy Miller finished with 15 for the Bears (15-0, 2-0 Big 12), who are off the best start in school history.
Baylor held off the Red Raiders (7-7, 0-2) after building an 11-point lead midway through the second half. Texas Tech put together a 9-2 run to close to 55-51 with 8:17 remaining, but the rally fizzled from there.
The Red Raiders committed eight turnovers in the second half, compared to four after halftime for the Bears.
Bears coach Scott Drew said protecting the ball down the stretch made the difference.
“I think first and foremost we had to take care of the ball and not turn it over and just be ball strong, cut harder, and I think that as effective,” he said. “Second thing is we made some defensive adjustments to try to help out with things.”
Javarez Willis scored 13 points and Ty Nurse added 10 for Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders made it easy for the Bears at the start of the second half. Their first six possessions included three turnovers and a missed layup. Ty Nurse’s 3-pointer with 14:24 left was Texas Tech’s first field goal of the second half and trimmed Baylor’s lead to 46-38.
The Bears, meanwhile, scored on 10 of their first 11 possessions to go up 51-40 on a powerful dunk by Acy with about 13 minutes remaining.
Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie was displeased with his team’s inconsistency on defense.
“All you got to do is play every single possession like you’re supposed to and it might have worked, it might not have worked,” he said. “But you know it’s not going to work if you don’t play like you’re supposed to and that’s a lack of discipline.”
Jackson had eight points — a 3-pointer, two field goals and a free throw — in Baylor’s 14-2 run to open the second half.
“Don’t like it at all,” Gillispie said. “I’m not into losing. I’m not into getting whipped. We got beat because we got whipped. I don’t like it at all.”
The Bears led 32-31 at halftime.
Tech started out strong. Robert Lewandowski got two buckets during a 7-2 run that gave the Red Raiders a 20-15 lead with 8:15 left in the first half.
“I honestly think we were playing a little sluggish, and we just had to get a couple of stops and then the scoring would do itself,” Jackson said. “So we just had to play defense and try to get some easy buckets.”
Baylor struggled to finish inside and Tech’s defense was sharp, forcing six turnovers in the game’s first 12 minutes. Tech had three fruitless possessions and didn’t score for about four minutes. But Baylor continued to have turnover woes and the Red Raiders still led 23-21 at the 3:40 mark.
The Bears eventually heated up. Heslip hit back-to-back 3s to give the Bears a 30-27 advantage.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)