The last time Baylor came to Schollmaier Arena, Desmond Bane’s 23 points gave the Frogs an unexpected win over the second-ranked Bears. Just over a week later, the world shut down because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the Frogs have not been able to hold a full-capacity athletic event since.
With Bane now gone to the NBA and their reduced home crowd made up mostly of fans wearing green and gold, TCU was not able to replicate that same energy from ten months ago, struggling to keep up with No. 2 Baylor in the second half and falling 67-49 on Saturday afternoon.
“We did it for 20 minutes against a really good team,” head coach Jamie Dixon said. “They’re old and they’re really experienced.”
Known for their defense, the Bears suffocated the Frogs for most of the afternoon, forcing TCU to commit a whopping 22 turnovers and scoring 19 points off of those turnovers.
Guard Jared Butler, a First Team All-Big 12 selection last season, was lights out all night for Baylor. The junior scored a game-high 28 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals.
“We’ve seen him get better, I remember the first year he didn’t play as much,” Dixon said. “They did a great job finding him. I think he took great shots, and he just kept going at us.”
Baylor had 10 steals as a team in the game.
True freshman Mike Miles kept TCU in the game early, scoring 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half alone. In the opening moments of the game, he wowed the crowd by dropping his defender to the floor with a between-the-legs crossover and knocking down a step-back three.
“Just changing speeds,” Miles said of the key to his crossover. “A lot of teams scout me, so they know exactly what I want to do; I have to keep them guessing.”
Miles wasn’t done with Sportscenter Top Ten plays, though. As the first half ended, the Lancaster native banked in a 60-footer to give TCU a 28-27 halftime lead. He said after the game that he had hit a half-court shot in high school but never from that far.
The Bears were undeterred by their halftime deficit, however. After starting the game 1-for-11 from behind-the-arc, Baylor made five threes in the second half, four of them coming from Butler.
Meanwhile, TCU shot just 33% as a team in the second half, turning the ball over 10 times to give away any chance they had at an upset.
The loss drops the Frogs to 0-2 on the week, as they hosted two top 10 opponents in consecutive games for the first time in program history.
“It’s a grind. It’s tough,” Miles said. “Every team in this conference is good.”
TCU will get a chance to regroup on Tuesday, as they face Oklahoma on the road. Tip-off in Norman, Okla. is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.