FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Prized Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin could have easily sat out the second half of a lopsided game against TCU.
Instead, the 7-foot-1 center told Bears coach Scott Drew he wanted to play through an ankle injury and help finish off the slumping Horned Frogs.
Austin scored 18 points while playing with a sprained right ankle, Pierre Jackson had 20 points and Baylor handed TCU its seventh straight loss, 82-56 on Saturday.
Austin injured his ankle on Baylor's final possession of the first half and didn't put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off the floor.
After starting the second half on the bench, Austin returned to the game to help finish off a blowout victory over TCU.
"I don't remember what happened," said Austin, who missed a game earlier in the season with an injury to the same ankle. "All I remember is I was on the ground. I felt pretty good once I came back in."
Baylor (14-5, 5-1 Big 12) won its third in a row and is off to its best start in conference since 1997-98.
Austin had two dunks during an 18-2 run in the first half that gave the Bears a 41-17 lead.
He checked back into the game with 18:14 left in the game and hit a jumper 21 seconds later. With a contingent of family and friends in the stands, Austin, from nearby Arlington, Texas, drained a 3-pointer and followed with a tip-in basket to push Baylor's lead to 58-35 with 14:37 remaining.
Drew said Austin asked to come back out in the second half.
"Coaches always get worried and nervous when a player gets injured," Drew said. "Isaiah has a high pain tolerance. I thought he did a good job in the second half. Mentally, Isaiah is one of those guys who's pretty tough."
Adrick McKinney scored 15 points and Connell Crossland chipped with 12 for TCU (9-11, 0-7).
The Horned Frogs are 0-7 in conference play for the first time since 1978-79. The school was in the Southwest Conference at the time.
TCU is playing with only eight scholarship players and has only 11 total players available because of injuries. The Horned Frogs have lost their seven conference games by an average of nearly 16 points.
"That was a good old-fashioned butt-whipping," Johnson said. "They beat us every which way but loose."
Baylor knocked off TCU 51-40 in a defensive struggle on Jan. 12. The Bears, however, jumped on the Horned Frogs early and never trailed in this one.
Jackson hit a 3-pointer to give Baylor a 7-0 lead.
TCU missed its first six shots and turned the ball over twice before scoring just more than 5 minutes into the game on McKinney's 3-point play.
The Bears led 23-15 before going on its game-breaking spurt, which started when Brady Heslip found Austin for a dunk. Gary Franklin hit a 3-pointer and Jackson had a layup to push Baylor's lead to 30-15.
Jackson started a fast break and shoveled a pass in the lane to a streaking Austin, who finished the play with an emphatic dunk while he was fouled.
Before Austin could complete the 3-point play, Jackson hit a pair of free throws after Johnson was called for a technical for arguing with officials. Austin completed the three-point play to cap the run and make it 41-17 with 3:35 left in the first half.
"Isaiah did a great job of sprinting down the court," Jackson said. "I just gave it to him and they couldn't do anything but foul him."
Baylor, playing its first game in Fort Worth since 2001, has won 16 straight against in-state opponents.
The Horned Frogs went on a 9-2 to end the first half to get within 43-26 at halftime. The Bears led by as much as 29 in the second half.
Baylor's Rico Gathers had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Franklin scored 12 points off the bench.