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Feb 25, 2024 4:54 pm

No. 11 Baylor, TCU meet with a lot on the line

baylor bears

No. 11 Baylor will look to get back on course and solidify its spot in the Big 12 standings when it travels to dangerous TCU on Monday in a key late-season conference clash in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Horned Frogs won the first game between the teams this season, outlasting Baylor 105-102 in triple overtime on Jan. 27 in Waco. Expect no less of a battle with plenty on the line on Monday.

TCU and Baylor are tied with Texas Tech for fourth place in the Big 12 standings behind front-running Houston, second-place Iowa State and third-place Kansas with four games to play.

The Bears travel north after a wild 82-76 overtime loss at home to No. 2 Houston on Saturday. Baylor started slowly in the loss, trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half and by 16 at halftime before roaring back, closing to within three points with 14:26 to play.

The Bears (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) dropped their second straight game. “As a coach, proud of the effort,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “(I was) disappointed with the execution in the first 20 minutes.”

An Yves Missi layup with four seconds to play in regulation tied the game at 69. The Bears took their first lead early in OT but could not pull off the upset.

Ja’Kobe Walter paced Baylor with 23 points, with RayJ Dennis adding 21, Jalen Bridges scoring 17 points and taking 13 rebounds and Jayden Nunn contributing 11 points.

“When we get stops, we’re a hard team to beat,” Walter said. “And I think we showed that in those first five minutes (of the second half). When we get stops and we get out running, we’re getting to the paint or we’re moving the rock, it’s pretty hard to stop us.”

TCU (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) has won three of its past four games, including a dominating 75-57 home victory over Cincinnati on Saturday. JaKobe Coles and Emanuel Miller racked up 18 points each to lead the Horned Frogs while TCU held the visitors to a season-low offensive output.

“The team just did a great job getting me involved and shots were falling,” Miller said. “Our spacing was so good, our offense was well-executed throughout the whole game. And I think that was a part to spark our offense.”

TCU shot a season-best 93.3 percent (14 of 15) from the free-throw line and made 40.9 percent from beyond the arc while sinking nine 3-pointers.

The Horned Frogs’ defense was the key, as they held Cincinnati to 41.5 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers that TCU converted into 16 points.

“We’re not perfect. We’re still working. And we’re not where I would like to be,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. But I believe that we’re gonna get better, and we’ve beaten really good teams.

“We’ve got to cut down on mistakes defensively but we have improved in the last four games. Our defense is better and our numbers show our commitment.”

-Field Level Media

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