Dominant second half lifts Bears over TCU

Al Freeman, a sophomore guard from Charlotte, N.C, looks for a pass during the game against TCU Wednesday. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

While the TCU Baylor rivalry is fierce on the football field, the basketball rivalry has remained one-sided. This was on display Wednesday night as the Baylor Bears (13-3) defeated the TCU Horn Frogs (9-7) 82-54 inside the Ferrell Center. The win allowed the Bears to remain undefeated at home on the season.

A couple of early misses allowed the Frogs to get some open shots. Fortunately for Baylor, TCU’s jumpers would not fall. The Bears quickly capitalized as they pushed the ball in transition giving junior guard Ishmail Wainright and senior center Rico Gathers easy dunks. After the Bears’ early run ,TCU head coach Trent Johnson called timeout to help calm his team at the 13-minute mark.

TCU was quick to respond after the timeout as their big men contributed with some easy put-backs. The Bears seemed somewhat slow on the defensive boards which contributed to the TCU run.

Nearing the halfway point through the first half it was TCU leading in points off turnovers, fast break points and second chance points.

While Baylor struggled from the 3-point line, shooting only 25 percent early in the first half, The Bear’s sophomore forward Terry Maston came off the bench for Baylor and contributed 8 points on 4/5 shooting to keep the Bears from falling behind in the first half. TCU Frog kept answering, including a fade away 3-pointer by sophomore guard Chauney Collins with under 8 minutes to play as the shot clock expired. Shortly after, Baylor senior point guard Lester Medford returned the favor with his first 3-pointer of the night.

Baylor’s rebounding machine Gathers had a relatively quiet first half on the glass only recording one offensive rebound, one defensive rebound and zero second chance points through 17 minutes of play. The Bears’ offense did not visit the free-throw line once in the first half

The Bears went on a 9-0 run to end the first half, led by Medford’s game high 10 first half assists including one at the first half buzzer to Maston. Maston himself continued his hot play off the bench as he ended the first half with a team high 14 points and a steal. The Baylor bench as a whole outscored the TCU bench 18-6 in the first half.

Coming out of the half the Bears switched to a man defense, which seemed to throw off TCU.

Gathers’s pedestrian first half was quickly forgotten as Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew’s team began feeding Gather’s more in the post, giving him a few easy layups. Going into the first timeout of the second half, Gathers had already doubled his first half points and still had not missed a shot.

While Baylor continued its hot play throughout the second half, TCU was a different story. The Frogs looked sloppy with multiple air-balls and turnovers that led to punishing Baylor 3-pointers. King McClure was the main contributor from behind the arc hitting his first two, 3 pointers. This, combined with the sloppy play of the Frogs, lead to a 27-4 run by the Bears, giving them 20 point lead with less than 12 minutes to go in the game.

What seemed like a close game in the first half continued to spiral out of control for the Frogs as the combination of Gathers and Motley down low combined to only miss one shot in the game.

“It was real big coming to protect the house and that’s what we did tonight in great fashion”. “One of our three keys in to out rebound the team and that starts with me,” Gathers said. The Bears out rebounded the Frogs 36-19.

“I thought the crowd gave us a lift,” Coach Drew said. Drew also continued with high praise of his bench adding that, “The big thing has been our bench in the last two games.”

Maston led all scorers with 17 points. Gathers finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Medford led all players with 11 assists. Coach Drew had high praise of Medford afterwards saying, “He’s doing a great job running the show and handling the ball.”

The Bears held TCU to 40% shooting from the floor while the Bears finished shooting 63% from the field and out-assisted TCU by 10.

The Bears play Texas Tech at 2:00 p.m. Saturday In Lubbock