Mike Miles wasn’t going to blame a wrist injury he suffered early in the second half. He was also not going to cite an 18-day COVID hiatus during which the entire TCU basketball team prepared to face No.1 Baylor on Saturday afternoon.
However, none of these issues helped TCU’s thwarted offer. Instead, Baylor (15-0, 3-0) finally overcame a six-point halftime deficit and showed why the reigning NCAA champion is still the top-ranked team in the country with a 76-64 victory at the Schollmaier Arena.
“In the first half, we played well. We haven’t had that many turnovers and they haven’t made that many 3s, ”said Miles. “But the second half? I don’t think we had the same intensity and they pulled away. But we really thought we could have won.
The TCU (10-2, 0-1) found themselves in control of the second half. The Frogs ended the first half on a 14-2 streak and took a 37-31 lead in the locker room.
They carried this momentum in the second half. Miles converted a four-point play, knocking down a 3-point pointer while fouling Baylor’s Matthew Mayer, to give TCU a 44-36 lead with 6:30 pm to go.
At this point, Miles had 22 points and was heading for a career day. But less than a minute later, Miles injured his wrist after being fouled by Mayer. Miles’ two free throw attempts were woefully insufficient. He had his wrist taped soon after, but only scored four more points.
“It hurt. It was tough,” Miles said of the injury. “I couldn’t really flip through it on my shot. That’s why my two free throws were short. It hurts, so I have to. do an X-ray, but I hope it’s nothing serious.
Miles’ injury marked the start of what became a 17-0 run for Baylor over the next four minutes as he took a 53-44 lead in the 14th minute. Bears goalie Adam Flagler had two of his six 3-pointers in the second half during that streak.
Baylor guard LJ Cryer also had one of his four 3-pointers that day during that game-changing streak.
“I started to find a little bit of rhythm,” Flagler said. “Once I’m gone, we’ll have a great, selfless team, and they’re going to keep looking for the hot ones.”
TCU didn’t go down without a fight, closing in on possession several times after that. But the Frogs never regained the lead and ended up running out of gas.
The Frogs have only taken three shots from the field in the past eight minutes.
“Their guards just exhausted us,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “Simply put, that’s where we got beaten. “
Dixon unchecked everyone’s stats row – Flagler finished with 22 points; James Akinjo had 20 points; Cryer had 15 points.
Baylor scored eight 3-pointers in the second half, ending the game 13 of 27 in depth. The Bears went from nine turnovers in the first half to just three in the second half.
“I think we performed really well in the second half,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “It starts with James and Adam. They did a great job taking care of the ball and getting high percentage shots, and did a good job defensively communicating and making things more difficult.
TCU, meanwhile, made just 7 of 20 3-pointers and returned it 18 times, including 11 in the second half.
“The two things that really stand out are the turnovers, especially in the second half. And then we just lost our rhythm offensively, ”Dixon said. “We have lost our rhythm. I do not know why. There are no excuses. You have to find a way. Give them credit. They are good. They’re ranked where they are because they’ve been there before. They are old. They find ways. … They responded and we did not.
On the bright side, TCU has proven he can play for the best team in the country – at least for half.
As Dixon said, the Frogs are capable of leading the nation’s top-ranked team by six points after halftime and also capable of being overtaken by 18 points by the highest-ranked team after half-time. time.
TCU fell to 1-9 all-time against the nation’s No.1 team, but this year’s team think the first half is more telling than the second half. time.
“We knew from day one we could play with anyone in the country,” said senior forward Chuck O’Bannon Jr., who finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
“We take it as a simple loss because that’s all it is. We know we are quite capable of beating them. We are more than excited to be returning to Waco next month.
TCU heads to Kansas State (8-6, 0-3) for their next game on Wednesday. Kick-off is 8 p.m. in Manhattan.
Women fall in the state of Iowa
The TCU women’s team opened the Big 12 with a 78-47 loss to No.12 at Iowa State on Saturday afternoon.
Frogs junior guard Tavy Diggs led the team with 17 points. TCU (4-6, 0-1) struggled in depth, dropping 5 of 27 for 3 points and only made 2 of 9 free throw attempts. The Cyclones improved to 14-1, 3-0.
The women are scheduled to play their home opener against Kansas (9-2, 0-1) on Monday night. Kick-off is set for 6.30 p.m. at the Schollmaier arena.
This story was originally published January 8, 2022 6:01 pm.