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TCU 68, Baylor 72: Frogs falter late

The Horned Frogs blow a 10-point lead and continue their slide down the Big 12 standings.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 17 TCU men’s basketball team continued its recent struggles without standout guard Mike Miles, conceding a 10-point lead in the second half and falling 72-68 against No. 14 Baylor. It’s the third consecutive loss for the Horned Frogs (17-8, 6-6 Big 12), who have dropped four of their last five games as Miles and center Eddie Lampkin continue dealing with lower-body injuries. TCU will travel for another ranked matchup against No. 11 Iowa State on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. The Cyclones beat TCU 69-67 earlier this season.

The Horned Frogs haven’t found any shooting rhythm over their recent losing streak. That trend continued on Saturday, with TCU finishing 2-for-10 from 3-point range and 10-for-16 from the free-throw line in the loss to the Bears, who went 12-for-13 from the charity stripe. TCU’s fastbreak offense has also sputtered in recent games, with Baylor holding the Horned Frogs to only 14 fastbreak points during Saturday’s game. On a positive note, TCU outrebounded the Bears 32-26 and shot 52.8 percent from the field for the afternoon. Emanuel Miller and Xavier Cork combined for 19 points but totaled just three rebounds.

Damion Baugh recorded his second point-assist double-double for the season, finishing with 16 points and 10 dimes while adding a team-high seven rebounds. Jakobe Coles continued his solid play off the bench for the Horned Frogs, scoring 15 points with five rebounds and three assists. While TCU has started Shahada Wells in place of Miles, head coach Jamie Dixon opted to start Rondel Walker, who remained ice cold on the offensive end with zero points in 15 minutes. Walker, who transferred in from Oklahoma State over the offseason, has gone without a point in four of the last five games for the Horned Frogs.

Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer carried the scoring load for the Bears, with Flagler pouring in a game-high 28 points while Cryer added 23 points. The two guards combined to shoot 9-for-16 from 3-point range and buried key triples late in the second half to help the Bears overcome its late deficit. With TCU leading 56-46 at the 9:13 mark in the second half, Baylor broke off a 15-2 run that put the Bears in the lead with 3:57 remaining. Baugh converted three shots in the final minute to keep the Horned Frogs in the game as the last seconds approached. After Baugh forced a steal on the ensuing inbounds play, TCU had the last possession with eight seconds remaining. But tough defense and questionable shot selection resulted in a miss and a Baylor rebound that sealed the win for the Bears.