RayJ Dennis finished with a game-high 21 points and No. 13 Baylor shook free from No. 23 Texas Tech on Tuesday night, using a strong second-half shooting display to pick up a 79-73 victory in Waco, Texas.
Dennis added five assists and four steals for the Bears (17-5, 6-3 Big 12), who connected on 13 of 20 field-goal attempts (65 percent) following the break. Baylor also got 17 points and seven rebounds from Yves Missi and 14 points from Jayden Nunn en route to its third straight win.
Joe Toussaint finished with 18 points and Darrion Williams posted 17, but the Red Raiders (16-6, 5-4) still dropped their third straight game. Chance McMillian had 15 points, while Pop Isaacs was limited to 11 on 4-of-12 shooting.
With the score at 51-51 after Texas Tech forward KyeRon Lindsay got loose for a dunk with 10:25 left, Baylor seized full control. The Bears followed by ringing up 13 unanswered points, with Nunn pumping in seven, to make it 64-51.
Texas Tech made a lunge in the final three-plus minutes and got as close as 76-71. But poor shooting early in the second half and foul trouble doomed the Red Raiders, allowing Baylor to hang on.
Toussaint ended up fouling out, while Williams and Robert Jennings both had to play cautiously after being tagged with four personals.
The Bears prefaced their strong second half with a 6-0 spurt to end the first, sending them into the break up 36-35.
After the teams returned from their locker rooms, Baylor did a good portion of its damage down low, scoring 16 points in the paint over the final 20 minutes of action. It also went to the free-throw line 20 times in the second half, making good on 15 attempts at the stripe.
A free throw from Eemeli Yalaho with 3:28 remaining in the first half gave Texas Tech its largest lead of the game at 33-27. Neither team led by more than six in the opening period.