Baylor beats TCU 51-40 in 1st Big 12 meeting
WACO, Texas (AP) — Pierre Jackson and the Baylor Bears got exactly the kind of grinding game they expected from TCU.
The Bears finally broke through after halftime for a 51-40 victory Saturday night in the first meeting in more than 10 years between the instate rivals which are now Big 12 foes.
"We played better team ball in the second half and got into transition," Jackson said. "Coach told us that they like to milk the clock and use every bit of it."
Cory Jefferson had consecutive baskets to start the tiebreaking run, including a two-handed slam dunk when he quickly regained the ball after getting a shot blocked. Those shots ignited a 14-2 run that put the Bears (11-4, 3-0 Big 12) ahead to stay.
Before the dunk, Jefferson's floater with 15 minutes left broke a 28-all tie. By the time Rico Gathers tipped in a missed 3-pointer only 4½ minutes later, Baylor had stretched its lead to 42-30.
The Horned Frogs (9-7, 0-3) came into the game leading the Big 12 and 10th nationally allowing only 55.6 points a game. While even better than that, it wasn't enough against the bigger Bears with the inside duo of Jefferson and Isaiah Austin, the 7-foot-1 freshman standout.
"We knew it was going to be one of those grind-it-out," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Earlier in the year against some teams that made really made you guard for 35 seconds, we didn't do as well and we didn't carry over the defensive intensity. Tonight, we missed shots, but we guarded for 40 minutes, we rebounded for 40 minutes. As long as you do that, you give yourself a chance to win."
Jefferson finished with 15 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots while Austin had 10 points, eight after halftime, with eight rebounds. Jackson, the senior point guard, had 11 points and six assists.
The most impressive rebound by Jefferson was when Adrick McKinney blocked his shot, but the big Baylor forward got it right back and slammed it home.
"Obviously, Baylor is a very, very, very talented basketball team. They cause a lot of problems with their length, their skill level," TCU coach Trent Johnson said. "I thought my guys did a very good job going into the game understanding what we needed to do to have a chance to have a victory. But their strength and their athleticism sort of wore us out there for about a five-minute period in the second half."
TCU had a 22-21 lead at halftime, but that was quickly erased when Austin scored inside to start the second half. That was the first of five lead changes in the first 4 minutes of the half.
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