Baylor-Texas Tech Preview

The Associated Press

In search of its first Big 12 road win of the season, Baylor will again be looking to use its tremendous depth to wear down an in-state rival.

The No. 12 Bears visit Texas Tech on Wednesday night also trying to improve upon their 19-1 record against in-state schools since the start of the 2011-12 season.

Baylor's depth was on full display at home Saturday against TCU. The Bears' reserves wore down their Horned Frogs counterparts, outscoring them 52-9 to spark an 88-62 victory. Taurean Prince led the way, coming off the bench to score a career-high 23.

"It is a good feeling. When we come out we don't have to worry about if we come out ahead to get a quick breather. We come out and we know that everyone coming off the bench is going to do their job," starting forward Cory Jefferson said. "(Prince) is one of the best at it. It is amazing to see his growth from last year. He goes out there and does what he is supposed to do along with everyone else out there."

The Bears (13-2, 1-1) have relied on their reserves all season. The team's 32.1 points per game off the bench ranks among the most in the country and leads the conference by a sizable margin. Among the team's key bench players is Brady Heslip, who leads the Big 12 in 3-point percentage (49.4) and is second on the team with 11.5 points per game. Heslip went 5 of 10 from 3-point range and scored 15 points against TCU.

The win followed a bad loss in the conference opener, 87-72 at then-No. 9 Iowa State on Jan 7. The Bears went to the free throw line a season-low 10 times - making only five. They turned that around against TCU, though, hitting all 21 of their attempts to set a school record for most free throws made while shooting 100 percent.

"We are getting great play from the bench, I'm very pleased with how everyone contributed," coach Scott Drew said. "In Big 12 play, you got to be focused, or else you aren't going to be successful. We made sure to get back to playing Baylor basketball."

Texas Tech (8-8, 0-3) comes in having dropped three in a row and five of its last six. The Red Raiders have lost each of their previous two by three points: 89-86 in overtime against West Virginia at home on Jan. 6, and 67-64 at Texas on Saturday.

Forward Jaye Crockett has played well in three league games, averaging 18.0 points, but he missed a jumper in the final seconds against the Longhorns that would have given his team a much-needed win.

"It was horrible. It hurt and it's going to hurt for a month or two probably," Crockett said. "You just can't get over it when you fight so hard and you want it so bad, it's just tough to get over."

Similar to most of its in-state rivalries, Baylor has dominated the series against Texas Tech in recent years. The Bears have won four straight and 12 of the previous 15 meetings. They are 5-1 in Lubbock since 2008, winning by an average of 18.0 points.

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