WACO, Texas (AP) — Johnathan Motley and No. 5 Baylor have moved on from the excitement of the first No. 1 ranking in school history, and the letdown that followed. Motley scored 25 points, and the Bears held on to beat Texas Tech 65-61 on Wednesday night for their 13th straight home victory. It was Baylor's fourth straight win since a blowout loss at West Virginia right after moving to the top of the poll.
WACO, Texas (AP) — Johnathan Motley and No. 5 Baylor have moved on from the excitement of the first No. 1 ranking in school history, and the letdown that followed.
Motley scored 25 points, and the Bears held on to beat Texas Tech 65-61 on Wednesday night for their 13th straight home victory. It was Baylor's fourth straight win since a blowout loss at West Virginia right after moving to the top of the poll.
The Bears (19-1, 7-1 Big 12) joined No. 2 Kansas atop the conference a night after three of the top four teams in the Top 25 lost.
Gonzaga (20-0), the lone remaining unbeaten team in Division I, plays Thursday night. But the Bears won't be quite as concerned about where they fall before a visit to the Jayhawks for the conference lead next Wednesday.
"I think it's one of those things where most recruits remember their first dunk but they don't remember the second, third or fourth or fifth," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "I think with us, that was a great honor for Baylor Nation. But again, our other goals are bigger than that."
A week after getting a career-high 32 points against Texas, Motley was 15 of 16 on free throws as the Bears had a 26-9 advantage at the free throw line. Baylor attempted 28 free throws to 10 for the Red Raiders.
Aaron Ross scored 14 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.
First-year Texas Tech coach Chris Beard didn't seem thrilled with the ruling, matter-of-factly saying it was an inadvertent whistle before adding, "Anybody know what that means?" But he made a point to say he didn't have an issue with the officiating.
"These are the best of the best," Beard said. "And I've coached at different levels where you know a guy can't call the game. These guys are all good refs. Baylor beat us tonight. We didn't get beat on a bad call or nothing like that."
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.
It's hard to say where Baylor will end up in the Top 25 after No. 1 Villanova, the Jayhawks and No. 4 Kentucky lost on Tuesday. Part of that is because Kansas and Kentucky play in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, and the Wildcats get 12th-ranked Virginia on Sunday.
MOTLEY TO THE RESCUE
Motley was 5 of 12 from the field and had a game-high nine rebounds to help Baylor overcome season lows of 17 field goals and 35 percent shooting. The 6-foot-10 forward had a big block on Evans with Texas Tech trailing 56-54 with 2:52 remaining. Manu Lecomte, who had 10 points, 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 at halftime. The Red Raiders recovered from a 12-2 deficit to take their first lead late in the half on their first free throws, two from Ross for a 29-28 edge.
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.
Corrects previous version with Baylor awarded possession instead of jump ball at midcourt.