Baylor center Yves Missi (21) dunks the ball past Texas...

Baylor center Yves Missi (21) dunks the ball past Texas Tech guard KyeRon Lindsay (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb.6, 2024, in Waco, Texas. Credit: AP/Jerry Larson

WACO, Texas — The seven made free throws by Yves Missi certainly impressed Baylor coach Scott Drew. The highlight dunks by the 7-foot freshman are what put the crowd in a frenzy.

Missi had 17 points with those free throws and three big slams, the last a one-hander early in the game-turning run. He drove the right edge of the lane and reached by a 6-7 defender in the 13th-ranked Bears' 79-73 win over No. 23 Texas Tech on Tuesday night.

"I think we’re like kind of numb to it a little bit because he does it all the time,” said RayJ Dennis, who scored 21 points for the Bears. “And we shouldn’t be because it's incredible.”

Jayden Nunn added 14 points for the Bears (17-5, 6-3 Big 12), including seven in a 13-0 run that put them ahead to stay. His tiebreaking 3-pointer with 9:59 left came only a minute before Missi's most impressive dunk of the night.

“I’m not necessarily looking for it, it just happens to be big,” Missi said. “Whenever I can make an extra play that can boost up the team, I’ll be sure to do it.”

Baylor tied No. 14 Iowa State for second place in the Big 12 standings, a half-game behind fifth-ranked Houston.

Joe Toussaint had 18 points and six assists for Texas Tech (16-6, 5-4), which despite three consecutive losses is still among the seven teams within two games of the Big 12 lead. Darrion Williams added 17 points for Tech, while Chance McMillian had 15 and Pop Isaacs 11.

Texas Tech guard Darrion Williams is fouled by Baylor center...

Texas Tech guard Darrion Williams is fouled by Baylor center Yves Missi while driving to the basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Waco, Texas. Credit: AP/Rod Aydelotte

“Over the course of the game, I felt like we had a good, good feel for it. But then they had that stretch in the second half where we couldn’t get a stop,” first-year Texas Tech coach and former Baylor assistant Grant McCasland said. “Their switching caused us some problems. We panicked a few times.”

Missi, who also had seven rebounds, had a tiebreaking dunk with 14 1/2 minutes left after a give-and-go lob pass from Dennis to make it 47-45. The game's last tie was at 51-all on a dunk by Tech's Kyeron Lindsay with 10:25 left.

Baylor had a 36-35 lead after scoring the last six points before halftime, punctuated by Messi's dunk at the end.

“He’s a great teammate. But, personally, it’s fun because there’s always a SportsCenter play,” Drew said. “Yves is one of those guys who does some things that obviously you can’t teach, you can’t coach. God has really blessed him and he’s only played ball for 2 1/2 years.”

Texas Tech forward Robert Jennings attempts a shot over Baylor...

Texas Tech forward Robert Jennings attempts a shot over Baylor center Yves Missi in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Waco, Texas. Credit: AP/Rod Aydelotte

MISSING BIG MAN

The Red Raiders were without Warren Washington, their 7-foot starting senior forward who missed the game because of illness. He had started the first 21 games, and leads the team with 7.6 rebounds while scoring 10.3 points a game.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have already matched their win total from last season under McCasland, who was on Drew's staff from 2011-16. McCasland was at North Texas the past six seasons.

Baylor: Three nights after having to overcome Drew's first career ejection and a 20-0 run by Iowa State to win that game, the Bears used their big second-half spurt against Tech to improve to 5-1 at new Foster Pavilion.

UP NEXT

Texas Tech plays UCF on Saturday at home, where the Red Raiders lost for the first time this season last weekend.

Baylor travels to Allen Fieldhouse to play No. 4 Kansas (18-5, 6-4) in a Big 12 matchup of recent national champions. The Jayhawks won the 2022 title, a year after the Bears won their first one.

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