TCU ‘out-worked’ by No. 6 Baylor, loses by 18, 70-52

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TCU’s three-game Big 12 winning streak ended quickly and quietly Saturday in Waco to No.6 Baylor, 70-52. The Horned Frogs never held a lead and fell behind by as much as 21 in the second half.

The loss dropped the Horned Frogs’ record to 17-8 overall and 6-6 in the Big 12. TCU is still looking for its first win over an AP Top 25 team since a 70-55 win over No. 21 Oklahoma State on Feb. 14, 2015. The Frogs have lost its last 20 games against ranked opponents.

A key factor in TCU’s defeat was losing the battle on the boards, as they were out-rebounded by ten,  36-26.

“We really got outworked tonight, defensively, on the boards, rebounding,” TCU forward Kenrich Williams said. “It’s just surprising and a bit of an embarrassment.”

Williams’ head coach concurred, as the Horned Frogs surrendered 42 points to the Bears, double the amount TCU scored at the rim, 26.

“We got out-rebounded by ten in a low possession game, we didn’t get them to turn the ball over, and they made shots,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said. “Our defense and rebounding let us down.”

Three players did most of the damage for Baylor: forward Johnathan Motley, point guard Manu Lecomte, and guard King McClure. The trio scored 40 of the Bears’ first 46 points. Motley finished with a game-high 25 on a near-perfect 12-15 shooting, Lecomte scored 17, and McClure added 13. Lecomte and McClure each hit three three-pointers.

Frustration boiled over for Williams with 12:33 left in the game. After a foul by Baylor forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. halted a TCU fast break that would’ve resulted in an easy dunk, Williams slammed down the basketball in frustration, resulting in the game’s only technical foul.

However, TCU freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher provided the Horned Frogs with their lone bright spot in what was the Horned Frogs’ biggest loss of the season, scoring a career-high 18 points.

“He’s making open shots and he just has to continue taking good shots, which he did in the second half,” Dixon said. “We have to get him to improve defensively and he has to take more rebounds and loose balls.”

The Horned Frogs also noticed that opponents are bringing more intensity to their matchups against them this season.

“Being here two years, I’ve seen teams mess around and not take us seriously,” Williams said. “This year, you can tell teams are watching film on us and scouting more seriously this year.”

The Baylor players said as much.

“Coach Drew emphasized defense in practice, and Coach Mills did a great job with the scouting report, taking away and having us know certain plays that they run against the zone defense,” Baylor guard King McClure said.

Fisher had a few thoughts on what TCU needs to do to get back to their winning ways.

“I felt like we didn’t take the open-shot, we were trigger-shy,” Fisher said. “We can improve on our effort, coming out there from the jump to start games.”

The Horned Frogs return home to Schollmaier Arena for their next game on Wednesday against Oklahoma State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.