Fort Worth, Texas – TCU got back in action facing the No. 1-ranked Baylor Bears in their first conference game of the year and their first game in 18 days due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols. Their last three games were canceled or postponed. Baylor came in hoping to keep their national best 21-game winning streak in tack. After trailing in the first half, the Bears took control of the game by going on a 17-0 run midway through the second half raining on any upset ideas by the Horned Frogs. TCU’s Mike Miles and Chuck O’Bannon would combine to score 24 of the Horned Frogs 37 points in the first half before Baylor’s rally resulted in their 76-64 win in front of a loud and eager TCU crowd.
TCU got after the Bears defensively in the first half causing the Bears to turn it over nine times. The Horned Frogs went on a 14-0 run late in the half and were feeling good heading into the locker room with a 37-31 lead. Miles, O’Bannon and Damion Baugh were big contributors offensively for the Horned Frogs. The 6-2 sophomore guard, Miles, was spectacular. He had a game high 26 points on 9-for-16 from the field and was 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, knocking down big shots early and hitting a big four-point play to start the second half. He got out in transition and hit the three and penetrated off the high pick and roll. He showed that his was the commander of the offense dishing out five assists.
O’Bannon a 6-6 redshirt senior forward played with energy and poise, crashing the boards, slashing and spotting up for 3’s. He scored 12 points surpassing his season average of nine points a game on 5-for-10 shooting from the field and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc.
The Bears would withstand TCU’s first half charge due to the sharp shooting of 6-3 combo guard Adam Flagler. He would get off to a slow start only connecting on 1-for-3 3-point attempts in the first half. But he got it going in the second half bringing energy and determination after hitting his first second half 3-pointer early followed by a steal and assist to James Akinjo for two of his eight second half points. Flagler would go on to hit four of his next five attempts from 3-point land to lead the Bears with 22 points on 8-for-13 from the field and 6-for 10 form the beyond the arc. He continues to draw looks from NBA scouts by displaying his solid shooting ability and his command of using the high pick and roll to either pull the three or get to his mid-range shot.
The 6-1 point guard Akinjo came out aggressive from the start as he has done most of the year. He led the Bears with 12 first half points on 5-for 7 shooting. He would go on to finish the night with 20 points on 9-for-15 from the field, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, dishing out eight assists and adding three steals. The floor general looked to penetrate off the high pick and roll and isolation while making wise decisions to finish at the basket or dish to the open shooter.
Baylor stepped up its defense in the second half forcing TCU into 18 turnovers for the game. The freshman Kendall Brown, considered a lottery pick for the 2022 NBA draft, was quiet ending the game with nine points on 4-for-5 from the field to go along with four rebounds and three assists. He did show flashes of his athleticism with a thunderous dunk off an offensive rebound and he was smooth finishing around the rim.
TCU (0-1, 10-2) will travel away to challenge Kansas State (8-6) on Wednesday, January 12th. Baylor (3-0, 15-0) will stay home to play No. 25-ranked Texas Tech (11-3)