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No. 14 Baylor aims to stay hot vs. No. 17 TCU

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No. 14 Baylor will look to continue its push toward the top of the Big 12 standings when it visits No. 17 TCU on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Bears (18-6, 7-4 Big 12) have won two straight games and eight of nine overall following an 82-72 victory over visiting Oklahoma on Wednesday. The win lifted Baylor into a tie for second place along with Kansas and Kansas State — one game behind Texas.

TCU (17-7, 6-5) has dropped two in a row following an 82-61 setback at No. 12 Kansas State on Tuesday.

The Horned Frogs have struggled with the loss of preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Mike Miles Jr., who hyperextended his right knee during a loss at Mississippi State on Jan. 28 and hasn’t played since. Miles averages a team-high 18.1 points per game to go along with 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds.

Miles scored a game-high 33 points on 12-for-21 shooting in TCU’s 88-87 win over host Baylor on Jan. 4.

Baylor heads into its rematch against the Horned Frogs after closing strong against the Sooners.

Leading 73-68 with 3:16 remaining, the Bears scored the next six points to secure the victory.

“Getting a win is all that matters in the Big 12,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “So good, bad, ugly, you can play well and get losses in this league. Winning is what matters most. It was great.”

Freshman Keyonte George, who averages a team-best 17.5 points, scored a game-high 23 against the Sooners, while Adam Flagler added 20. Langston Love, who averages 7.1 points per game, finished with 19 points and five rebounds against Oklahoma.

“Y’all hear it all the time, but we just focus on controlling what we can control,” said George, who has scored at least 20 points in 10 games this season. “That’s playing hard, finding each other, running the floor, playing defense, and those are things you can control.”

Meanwhile, TCU fell apart down the stretch against the Wildcats.

After the Horned Frogs trimmed a 13-point second-half deficit to 65-59 on JaKobe Coles’ layup with 4:49 to play, the Wildcats ended the game on a 17-2 run.

“We had it down to six and you would think we could battle until the end, but we kind of shut down and missed some shots and that affected (our) defense down the stretch,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “What was a closer game just got away from us.”

TCU was outrebounded 40-28, including 13-6 on the offensive end, and committed 19 turnovers that the Wildcats converted into 15 points.

“Obviously they played well and we didn’t,” Dixon said. “You can’t make it any more simple than that. Being outrebounded by 12 and 19 turnovers, that doesn’t give you much of a chance.”

Damion Baugh had a team-high 16 points and five assists for TCU, while Micah Peavy and Coles chipped in 11 apiece. Emanuel Miller, who averages 13.0 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game, finished with 10 points and nine boards against Kansas State.

–Field Level Media

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