Baylor dominates TCU, still alive in Big 12 regular season title chase

Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Jakob Brandenburg | Reporter

Fans in the Baylor-TCU rivalry are accustomed to high scoring performances, but it was Baylor’s defense that spearheaded a dominant 70-52 win over the Horned Frogs Saturday in the Ferrell Center.

Baylor held TCU to 37.7 percent shooting and only surrendered 17 first-half points. The Horned Frogs’ offensive struggles are put into perspective by the fact that TCU’s football team scored more in each of its last two trips to Waco than the basketball Horned Frogs managed Saturday.

Baylor junior forward Johnathan Motley continued his campaign for end-of-season accolades, putting up 25 points and seven rebounds on 12-15 shooting. Junior guard Manu Lecomte added 17 points and didn’t commit a turnover in his 32 minutes of play.

Sophomore guard King McClure made his second consecutive start in place of the suspended Al Freeman. McClure scored 13 points, all in the first half, and made three 3-pointers.

In the postgame press conference, McClure talked about taking advantage of his opportunity.

“It does a lot for my confidence,” McClure said. “As a kid, you dream about wanting to start for a top-10 team, and I’m just living out my dream and not taking anything for granted.”

Baylor held TCU’s leading scorer Vladimir Brodziansky to only six points. Freshman Jaylen Fisher was a bright spot for the Horned Frogs; he scored 18 points.

Baylor scored the game’s first points on a Motley layup, an occurrence that would repeat itself all afternoon. TCU never led in the game.

Baylor pulled away when McClure hit two early 3-pointers, then unleashed a barrage of seven points in four minutes midway through the first half.

McClure’s scoring was coupled with Baylor’s nationally ranked defense, which held TCU without a field goal over a seven-minute stretch

Baylor led 32-17 at halftime. TCU shot a miserable six of 26 (23 percent) in the first period.

TCU started the second half with four quick points, but the scoring combination of Motley and Lecomte was too much for the Horned Frogs to overcome. The duo teamed up for 29 points in the second half.

Motley described how he and the guards such as Lecomte and McClure complement each other.

“When I’m scoring down low, those guys get open shots,” Motley said. “And then when they’re hitting shots, I got a chance to go do my thing.”

Baylor has a quick turnaround and plays again on Monday at Texas Tech.

Coach Scott Drew talked about the challenge of playing on the road after a short break.

“It’s hard,” Drew said. “But we have a good strength coach. Our guys are in good condition. Lubbock, like every other place in the Big 12, is a tough place to play, so we’ve got to be ready to go.”

The matchup against the Red Raiders tips off at 6 p.m. Monday inside Tech’s United Supermarkets Arena. The game will be televised on ESPNU.