Bears fall flat in Fort Worth as TCU earns season sweep with 82-72 win

TCU guard Alex Robinson, left, reaches for a loose rebound with Baylor forward Mark Vital, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo Credit: Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via Associated Press

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Baylor men’s basketball fell to TCU 82-72 Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth to drop its second straight game.

The Bears (17-12, 7-9) were swept by the Horned Frogs (20-9, 8-8) in the season for the first time since 1989.

Senior center Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr. scored a team-high 22 points on nine of 14 shooting from the field. Senior guard Manu Lecomte scored just five points on one for 10 shooting.

TCU junior guard Alex Robinson scored 22 points while dishing out six assists for the Horned Frogs.

Freshman forward Mark Vital got the Bears on the board with an acrobatic tip shot and freshman forward Tristan Clark flushed it home on a pass from Lecomte, but the Bears trailed 5-4 at the 14:42 mark of the first half.

Junior guard Jake Lindsey picked up his second foul of the game at the 14:32 mark, but stayed in the game and hit a reverse layup to cut the TCU lead to 12-10 before TCU junior guard Shawn Olden knocked down his second three pointer to make it 15-10 with 11 minutes left in the first half.

The Horned Frogs embarked on a 10-4 run capped off by a three from Robinson and a transition layup from freshman forward Kouat Noi to give TCU a 25-14 lead with 8:29 remaining in then half.

The Bears responded with a 6-0 run to cut the lead to five as senior forward Terry Maston found Vital for a layup underneath to make it a 25-20 TCU lead at the 6:20 mark.

Lual-Acuil, Jr. scored twice on the inside and Maston scored on a put back as the Bears headed into the locker room trailing 33-28 at the break.

The Bears battled back as Lecomte hit his first three-pointer of the game and Lual-Acuil, Jr. and Clark combined for 10 points in a 13-8 Baylor run to cut the TCU lead to 43-41 at the 15:29 mark of the second half.

The Bears continued to attack the basket with Clark and Vital each scoring four points on the inside, but a steal and floater by TCU sophomore guard Desmond Bane extended the Horned Frogs’ lead to 54-51 with 9:27 remaining.

Baylor briefly took the lead on a four-point play after Lual-Acuil, Jr. was fouled away from the ball while Vital tipped the ball in, but Noi drained a corner three to tie the game up at 59 at the 7:52 mark of the second half.

TCU extended its lead with four straight jumpers, including a three from Robinson to make it a 70-65 game with 4:28 remaining.

The Horned Frogs made their free throws down the stretch to pull out the 82-72 win.

TCU shot 54 percent from the field and made seven threes while Baylor shot 42 percent and made just two from distance.

The Bears look to bounce back as they face Oklahoma at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Ferrell Center.