Smith and Red Raiders Host No. 20 Baylor at United Supermarkets Arena
The last time the Texas Tech men’s basketball team hosted the Baylor Bears at the United Supermarkets Arena, the Red Raiders came up with an 82-72 upset of the then-no. 12 Bears.
The Bears (18-7, 6-6) return to the United Supermarkets Arena as the No. 20 team in America looking to snap a two-game losing streak when Baylor faces Texas Tech (12-14,2-11) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Some say that win was the beginning of the Tubby Smith era. That win for Smith was a benchmark for a program that was looking for the first step on an upswing. It snapped a 34-game losing streak to ranked opponents.
Smith has gone on to topple three more ranked opponents since then and has equaled the number of ranked wins for Texas Tech in two years that it had since 2008 when hall of fame coach Bob Knight retired.
Texas Tech has held nine of 13 Big 12 opponents under their scoring average this season. They have also held five teams under 65 points in league play. Baylor is averaging 69.8 points per game this season. In league road games, Baylor is averaging just 65.7 points per game.
"Baylor is a very talented team that has the ability to score from several positions," said Smith. "They are a veteran team that has the ability to play under control and looks to score in transition."
Conversely, Texas Tech has been somewhat dominate at home, averaging 67.7 points per game, while giving up 58.9 points. The Red Raiders are 12-4 at home this season, marking the most home wins since 2009-10. A win over Baylor would mark just the ninth time that Texas Tech has won 13 home games in a season.
In the Red Raiders' last two wins, it has been guard play that has led the way. Devaugntah Williams has netted 22 points in the wins over Kansas State and then-No. 9 Iowa State. This will be especially true with the Bears' zone defense. Williams is averaging 13.1 points per game at home this season.
Another guard that has to step up for the Red Raiders to have success is Robert Turner, who has averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game over the last three home games.
"Our guards will have to attack the zone," said Smith. "I saw some bright spots for us against Texas. Now we need to build off of that. We have to get Norense (Odiase) more touches. He has a high basketball IQ and it was apparent against the Longhorns."
Odiase had six points, six rebounds and four assists against Texas' zone defense.
The game will be televised on ESPN 2.