Bears Look to Continue Winning Ways against TCU

Former Baylor forward Teauran Prince goes for a baseline shot against TCU on Feb. 4, 2015 in Waco. Baylor won by a score of 77-57. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

By Thomas Mott | Reporter

The Baylor Bears basketball team look to feed off of an impressive win against Texas on Tuesday when they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU this Saturday night.

Junior forward Johnathan Motley, Baylor’s leading scorer this season, will look to match his dominating performance against Texas and where he scored 32 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Bears’ 74-64 win against the Longhorns.

“It’s always good seeing him play like that. He’s one of the best bigs in the BIG 12. We see it in practice every day,” said junior forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr.

Motley, who is averaging 15 points per game, became the fourth Big 12 player since 2007 to have 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game. The other three players on that list are Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Mario Boggan.

“He’s our floor general. He just brings a sense of calm to the team. We trust him when he has the ball in his hands no matter what’s going on. When The other team’s on a 20-0 run, when we are on a run, he just finds a way to just keep us all level headed and get us to do the next right thing. We trust him in all situations,” Acuil said.

TCU has a record of 14-4 and currently sits fifth in the Big 12 standings. The Horned Frogs are coming off of a 75-69 loss to the Red Raiders on Wednesday, however, and the Bears are focused on getting another win.

“It’s the next game up; that’s the most important thing on our minds right now … TCU is a great team. They have been playing a lot better. It’s always hard playing on the road in the Big 12,” Motley said.

Saturday will mark the first time Baylor will face former TCU graduate and new head coach of the Frogs, Jamie Dixon. Dixon previously served 13 seasons as the head coach for Pitt and earned 11 NCAA Tournament berths with the Panthers. Dixon has had a good season with the Frogs so far as they have only fallen to the likes of Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas and SMU.

“They got a good combination of experience and some new talent, really played well. Coach Dickson is a tremendous coach, so he is always going to give them a chance to be successful,” said Baylor head coach Scott Drew.

The Bears won both of last year’s matchups against TCU by a combined 43 points, but, Drew knows that every road game in the Big 12 can be tricky.

“Texas schools are always going to have that built-in rivalry. You always have fans from both schools there, and I know those games mean a lot to the fans,” Drew said.

The Bears hope to win their 18th straight game this season as they take on the TCU Horned Frogs at 7 p.m. Saturday in Fort Worth.