January 7, 2012

Tech falls 73-60

Texas Tech men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie clearly wasn't happy with the performance the Red Raiders turned in Saturday in a 73-60 loss against No. 4 Baylor in the United Spirit Arena.

Not even the fact the 7-7 Red Raiders trailed the 15-0 Bears just 32-31 at halftime and looked like they were going strong as they headed into the locker room. But when the second half started Baylor guard Pierre Jackson helped lead a six-minute 12-3 opening run and Tech was never able to fully close the gap.

Playing the Bears with good effort for 34 minutes isn't a consolation for Gillispie. The first-year head coach wants to win right now with his young team.

"I'm not really a 'hang around' guy," Gillispie said. "I couldn't care less about hanging around. I want to dominate. I'm a 'dominate' guy and I'm not a hang around guy. Just going to back to making plays and not taking anything away from them, when No. 55 came into the game I thought it was a totally different ballgame. He had totally controlled the game like a guard should guard and a guard should control.

"We didn't do a good enough job following the game plan as far as how to guard the ball screen and taking his right hand away from him and helping in certain spots. But give him the credit, he made the plays.

"As far as hanging around, no, I'm not into it."

The Red Raiders did come out and put Baylor in an 8-3 bind to open the game, but the Bears outside began to click about five minutes into the game.

Jackson and fellow Baylor guard Brady Heslip scored 19 points and 16 points, respectively, while Quincy Miller, Quincy Acy and Perry Jones combined for 31 points on the inside.

The Red Raiders did have some answers though. Bean Williams, Jaye Crockett and Ty Nurse had 13 points, 11 points and 10 points, respectively, and Jordan Tolbert and Deshon Minnis did some good things on both side of the court.

Baylor head coach Scott Drew said he was most impressed with Tech's defense. Baylor turned over 10 first half possessions while the Red Raiders gave up a season-low five first half turnovers. The stats seemed to reverse themselves after the halftime break though as Baylor turned the ball over four times in the second half and Tech gave away eight possessions on turnovers.

"Tech really came out with a lot of energy and they played hard all the time," Drew said. "Coach Gillispie always does a great job with them. I think the first two or three minutes (of the game) woke us up and got us to play harder because obviously they were playing hard."
The loss was Tech's first at home this year and a real gut punch because the Red Raiders looked poised to take Baylor to the wire when the halftime buzzer sounded. For the second time in two Big 12 games, it was just a rough three-to-five-minute stretch that cost Tech.

"We do come out with a lot of energy," Tech senior forward Robert Lewandowski said. "But that second half we came out dead, me especially. I feel like I take the blame for this loss. I didn't play really well and I let a lot of people down. We talked about it in the locker room, there are a lot of little things that go into winning.

"I think everyone on the team thought we could win. But we didn't. It's back to practice."

Lewandowski had six of Tech's 13 turnovers but shot 50 percent in the loss.

The Red Raiders get another crack at Baylor on Feb. 27 in Waco.

"If we would have played tougher we would have won," Lewandowski said. "I'm sure our opponents think differently and give them a lot of credit because they made shots and are great athletes and were better than us tonight but we did not play the way we can play. So I'm looking forward to a rematch."

Gillispie and crew will take on No. 14 Kansas Wednesday in the United Spirit Arena and Gillispie expects to win that one.

"I'm not into playing close, I'm not into moral victories, I'm not into hanging around, I'm not into any of those terms that you want to throw out there," Gillispie said. "I don't like it. We got beat. I'm the head coach and we've got to do something about it."

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