National Basketball Association
Baylor 86, Texas Christian 71
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 27, 2016
Where: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
# Ray Natili, # Chris Rastatter, # Bert Smith
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU coach Trent Johnson had a simple explanation for Baylor's 86-71 victory on Saturday night.
"As hard as it is for me to talk about and say, they're better than we are," Johnson said. "They're a better basketball team. It's just the way it is right now."
There's no arguing that statement on a night in which Baylor answered every run and threat TCU threw its way. Not to mention the Bears' dominance inside, outrebounding the Frogs 45-21 and scoring 40 points in the paint.
So it's safe to say that 19th-ranked Baylor is feeling good going into March.
"I think we sit pretty well," said senior forward Taurean Prince, who tied for the team lead with 22 points.
"We've got a great chance to make the NCAA tournament. ... It's in our hands whether we win or lose."
Baylor (21-8, 10-6 Big 12) showed that with another road win, and never lost its poise when large leads dwindled throughout the night at Schollmaier Arena. TCU (11-18, 2-14), meanwhile, lost its fifth straight.
Prince served as one of the stars for the Bears, coming through at the game's most critical moment.
The Bears had a 13-point lead early in the second half, but TCU rallied to pull within 57-55 with 9:10 left. That's when Baylor, as it had all night, responded with a flurry.
Prince knocked down a 3-pointer followed by another 3-pointer by junior guard Ishmail Wainright.
TCU, coming out of a timeout, turned it over and Prince drained another 3 to make it 66-55 with 7:30 left.
That stretch proved to be the difference in the game.
"After those three plays," Johnson said, "We lost our poise."
TCU did its best to stay in it, but the effort needed to mount runs and rallies proved to catch up with them in the final minutes. It didn't help that they had only nine players available, either.
Guard Malique Trent, who led the Horned Frogs and all scorers with 25 points, acknowledged that trying to get back in the game from double-digit deficits wasn't easy.
"We fed off the crowd, tried to stay in it," Trent said.
In the end, though, Baylor proved to be the better team and is going into March by winning three of their last four games.
"You want to be playing better basketball toward the end of the year," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "I think we definitely are in some areas. At the same time, coach is never happy -- there are always areas you want to work on, get better in. The good thing is we still have some days to do that.
"But our guys came out tonight and were really focused and ready to play."
Along with Prince's big night (22 points, seven rebounds), sophomore forward Johnathan Motley tied for the team lead with 22 points and had nine rebounds.
"We just came in with an aggressive mindset, knowing we were going to control the paint from the get-go," Motley said. "I think we came out with a little bit more intensity."
Indeed, Baylor did get off to an impressive start in the opening half. The Bears jumped out to an 11-0 lead, highlighted with a dunk by Motley.
The Horned Frogs rallied by knocking down consecutive 3-pointers by Trent and sophomore guard Chauncey Collins. They eventually pulled to within 18-15 on a midrange jumper by Karviar Shepherd with 13:26 left.
Baylor, though, never surrendered the lead and went on a run of its own later in the half. A 10-0 stretch gave the Bears a 35-22 lead, and they stayed comfortably ahead by taking a 42-31 lead into halftime.
That went on to be the story of the game for Baylor, which answered every time the lead seemed to get in jeopardy.
"That's what it takes to win in the Big 12," Drew said. "I think for the last few years we've had the best road record and that all goes to upper classroom that know what it takes to win on the road. I think the poise to not get rattled, to know you have to play for 40 minutes ... so they get all the credit."
NOTES: Baylor has won all nine contests against TCU since it joined the Big 12 conference. ... The Bears are 17-1 when leading at the half. ... TCU sophomore G Chauncey Collins has scored double-digits in six of the last seven games.
Top Game Performances
Johnathan Motley 22
Malique Trent 25
Lester Medford 10
Chauncey Collins 5
Johnathan Motley 9
Chauncey Collins 4
Johnathan Motley 8
||Free Throws Made
Malique Trent 11
King McClure 2
Malique Trent 4
Johnathan Motley 2
Vladimir Brodziansky 1
Team Stats Summary