Frogs can’t overcome No. 19 Baylor, lose 86-71

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The Horned Frogs entered Saturday night 0-9 against ranked opponents this season, and that record became 0-10 Saturday with a 86-71 loss against No. 19 Baylor at the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

The Frogs moved to 11-18 overall with the loss. TCU remains in the cellar of the Big 12 standings with a 2-14 conference record.

The Frogs never had a lead over the Bears in the contest, allowing their arch-rivals to open the game with an 11-0 run. After being down at halftime 42-31, TCU would trail by a mere two points the 2nd half but couldn’t find a way to get over the hump.

“It’s hard to guard a team of that caliber,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “I look at the tape, they did good offensively, and we lost them in transition.”

TCU guard Malique Trent tallied a game-high and career-high 25 points in the loss. Guard Chauncey Collins put on yet another solid scoring effort with 17 points. But the duo’s performance would be one-upped by the Bears, as Baylor forwards Taurean Prince and Jonathan Motley each dropped 22 points in the contest.

“They’re a deep team, and they have one guy who can really play, and that is Prince,” Johnson said.

In an all too common theme, it was the rebounding department that doomed the Frogs, who got out-rebounded 45-21. To add to the rebounding woes, the Frogs only walked away with three offensive rebounds against Baylor’s 16.

“We knew it would be a matter of keeping them off the glass, and obviously, that is where the game was decided,” Johnson said. “They’re longer, they’re athletic, and they’re powerful.”

Rebounding was not the only lopsided stat in the game. The Bears outscored the Frogs 40-16 in the paint. Eighteen of those points came off fast-breaks.

“We came in with an aggressive mindset,” Motley said. “We wanted to control the paint and that’s exactly what we did.”

It was a well-rounded performance for the Bears, with three players racking up double-digit points. The Bears also had the edge in points off the bench, with 19 opposed to the Frogs’ 13.

“It’s always good to have multiple people come in and put on a show,” Motley said. “Everyone contributes to scoring in our games.”

Untimely turnovers would also prove costly for the Frogs. Down by two with a chance to take the lead in the second half, TCU forward JD Miller committed a costly turnover that led to three straight three-pointers by the Bears, taking the life out of the Frogs for the remainder of the contest.

“We got within two, but then we had a bad turnover and lost Prince on defense, and that was it from there,” Johnson said. “The offense just got too easy for them then.”

It was not the first time this season the Frogs struggled finishing in a close contest. The team blew a late lead in its previous contest against Texas Tech on Feb. 23.

“We had a lot of miscommunication down the line,” Trent said.

Despite the loss, Trent, who did not play when the Bears and Frogs last met on Jan. 13, was able to walk away with the confidence of a career-high scoring performance.

“It was a matter of being aggressive and being confident on the court,” Trent said. “When I slow down and play my game, I can be a great player.”

Trent said he is aware that performances like his on Saturday night may be the standard for players if teams are to be successful in the Big 12 with its fierce competition.

“The league is tough, but that’s why I came here – to play against great competition,” Trent said. “The Big 12 is the best conference in the country.”

The Frogs will head to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on Kansas State before heading back to Fort Worth for their season finale against Oklahoma next Saturday.