TCU fought hard on Saturday afternoon at Schollmaier Arena, but fell short against the No. 1 team in the country, 76-64.
Mike Miles led the Frogs with 26 points, but injured his wrist early in the second half, killing TCU’s momentum. Baylor was led by Adam Flagler with 22 points, and James Akinjo with 20. The Bears moved to 15-0 on the season while TCU drops to 10-2.
The Bears and Frogs spent the first few minutes of the game feeling each other out, as TCU shook off a little rust after almost three weeks without a game. Matthew Mayer got the scoring started with a three pointer for the Bears, but Mike Miles responded on the other end with a three of his own.
The Bears established a small lead after those threes, with James Akinjo getting involved from deep. Akinjo was 3-3 from three in the first half, as he helped Baylor out to a 24-16 lead with 7:24 left in the first half.
TCU responded with a 5-0 run, bringing the deficit to within three, before a Chuck O’Bannon turnover led to another Baylor three ball, pushing the lead to 27-21.
After trading baskets to bring the score to 29-23 in favor of Baylor, the Frogs made their run. Powered by seven points from Miles and a big three from Farabello, TCU mounted a 14-2 run to end the half and take a 37-31 lead into the break.
The Frogs opened the second half with a corner three from Chuck O’Bannon, pushing their lead to 40-31. Baylor pushed back, cutting the lead to 40-36, but a Miles three pointer pushed TCU’s lead back to seven.
Then, Miles went to the rim hard and drew a foul along the baseline, going down hard. He came up clutching his right wrist. Miles left two free throws short and waved at the coaching staff to sub him out.
With Miles out of the game Baylor made their run, using a 17-0 run over a five minute span to pull ahead 50-44.
Without Mike, things unraveled for the Horned Frogs. TCU lost all offensive momentum, outside of a nice 7-point spurt from Micha Peavy, and defensively the Frogs couldn’t get a stop.
Baylor shot over 60% from the floor for the half, including over 70% from three point range. As Miles was clearly hampered by his wrist, Baylor’s Adam Flagler caught fire, hitting six threes and scoring 22 points for the Bears.
Miles told the media after the game that his wrist injury didn’t allow him to ‘flick’ like he normally does on his shot, and it also affected his ability to handle the ball. Miles also mentioned that he will get an X-Ray on it in the coming days.
While TCU falls to 0-1 in Big 12 play, there are a handful of positive takeaways from the game. TCU showed that when their leader is healthy they can compete with anyone in the nation.
They just need to find a way to be more consistent, and to overcome some of the fixable issues we’ve seen on the team this year.
Jamie Dixon said as much after the loss.
“Obviously, as I told them, and I said it a second ago, the takeaway is that we’re good enough to beat the number one team by six at halftime, and we’re also good enough to get outscored by 18 in the second half.”
“We know the reasons why we didn’t do it, and why one was different than the other,” Dixon continued. “We have the ability to do it, but we didn’t do it, whatever the reason was. Foul trouble, fatigue, or just not physically tough enough. It’s probably a combination of experience, and you could throw down a lot of things.”
“None of those are things we can’t correct and can’t improve on, and we have to do that. And certainly, practice is the best way to improve that.”
TCU continues their Big 12 slate Wednesday, when they travel to Manhattan, KS to take on Kansas State.