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Seeking 22nd straight win, No. 1 Baylor takes on No. 25 Texas Tech

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Jan 8, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA;  Baylor Bears guard Adam Flagler (10) drives to the basket past TCU Horned Frogs guard Mike Miles (1) during the second half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard Adam Flagler (10) drives to the basket past TCU Horned Frogs guard Mike Miles (1) during the second half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Baylor will look to continue the nation’s longest winning streak when it hosts surging No. 25 Texas Tech on Tuesday night in a Big 12 Conference slugfest in Waco, Texas.

The Bears (15-0, 3-0) head home after a come-from-behind 76-64 win at gritty TCU on Saturday. Baylor trailed by nine points early in the second half — its largest deficit of the season — before rallying and leapfrogging the Horned Frogs with a 17-0 run. The Bears kept TCU scoreless for more than five minutes during the comeback.

Adam Flagler led Baylor with 22 points in the win, with James Akinjo adding 20 and LJ Cryer 15. The Bears have captured 21 straight games dating to the semifinals of last season’s Big 12 Tournament and including the march to their first national championship.

“If you’re able to go on the road in these environments, face these teams and get a win, you’re doing something right,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said afterward. “You’ve got to credit the players for being able to beat great teams on the road.”

Baylor has won 30 straight games against unranked opponents. The Bears are one of just two remaining unbeaten Division I teams (USC) and are the first squad to start consecutive seasons 15-0 since Syracuse in 2010-12.

“We’re the No. 1 team, and everybody is going to see how you respond to situations like that,” said Akinjo, who scored 12 points in the first half to keep the Bears in the game. “When we got down, we never panicked. I was just trying to keep us all poised. That’s my job at point guard.”

The Red Raiders travel southeast to the banks of the Brazos after a 75-67 home win over No. 6 Kansas on Saturday. Bryson Williams had a season-high 22 points, and Clarence Nadolny added a career-best 17 as Texas Tech (11-3, 1-1) led for more than 33 minutes and controlled the pace — and the game.

A 9-0 run by the Red Raiders early in the second half and a defense that forced 17 Kansas turnovers helped build a 14-point advantage and allowed Texas Tech to win its third game in its past four outings and hold the Jayhawks to their season low in scoring. The Red Raiders are 9-0 at home.

“We’ve grown up a lot, and there’s a toughness about us that we may not have a few weeks ago,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said after Saturday’s win. “These guys didn’t quit. They came up with big plays. We talked in the huddle ‘make winning plays’ in the last four or five minutes. It came down to a few plays in the last few minutes, and I’m just really proud of our guys for making the big plays to get the win.”

After having only seven available players in Wednesday’s loss at Iowa State because of COVID and injuries, Texas Tech had eight enter the Kansas game. Leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. and Kevin McCullar remained unavailable for the Red Raiders due to injury, and their availability for the Baylor game is to be determined.

The Top-10 win was the 12th for the Red Raiders since 2015. Texas Tech improved to 2-2 against ranked opponents this season.

–Field Level Media