WACO, Texas (AP) Johnathan Motley scored 25 points and No. 5 Baylor held on to beat Texas Tech 65-61 on Wednesday night for the Bears’ 13th straight home victory.
A week after getting a career-high 32 points against Texas, Motley was 15 of 16 on free throws as the Bears (19-1, 7-1 Big 12) pulled even with second-ranked Kansas atop the Big 12 standings with a 26-9 advantage at the free throw line. Baylor attempted 28 free throws to 10 for the Red Raiders.
A night after three of the top four teams in the Top 25 lost, the Bears won their fourth straight since their only loss right after reaching No. 1 for the first time in school history.
Justin Gray scored 12 points for the Red Raiders (14-6, 3-5), who dropped to 2-2 against ranked teams in Big 12 play. It was their second straight loss after a 17-game home winning streak ended with Oklahoma State’s first conference win following six losses.
The Red Raiders had a chance to tie or go ahead trailing 63-61 in the final seconds, but Ishmail Wainright blocked a deep 3-point try by Keenan Evans. The Bears started celebrating a win, but the whistle blew with 0.5 seconds left.
After a discussion, officials ruled a jump ball on an inadvertent whistle, awarding Baylor possession. Niem Stephenson fouled Baylor’s Al Freeman before the ball was thrown in, and Freeman made both free throws to clinch the win.
Motley was 5 of 12 from the field to help Baylor overcome season lows of 17 field goals and 35 percent shooting. The 6-foot-10 forward also had a big block on Evans with Texas Tech trailing 56-54 with 2:52 remaining. Manu Lecomte hit a 3-pointer at the other end.
The Bears shot 16 free throws in the first half before the Red Raiders attempted their first, but Texas Tech trailed by just one by limiting Baylor to just seven field goals and 32 percent shooting before halftime.
The Red Raiders recovered from a 12-2 deficit to take their first lead on their first free throws, two from Aaron Ross for a 29-28 edge with 1:24 remaining in the first half.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders bounced back from their worst game by showing that their two wins in three games against ranked teams in Big 12 play weren’t a fluke. They’re unlikely to be an easy win in conference.
Baylor: After getting blown out at West Virginia immediately after surging to the top of the AP poll, the Bears have shown some staying power by getting another winning streak going.
Texas Tech: After hosting LSU in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, the Red Raiders visit Texas next Wednesday.
Baylor: After a Big 12/SEC trip to Mississippi, the Bears play at Kansas for the Big 12 lead next Wednesday.
Corrects previous version with Baylor awarded possession instead of jump ball at midcourt.