January 6, 2019 / 12:01 AM / 14 days ago

TCU fends off Baylor’s furious rally, wins Big 12 opener

Desmond Bane had 22 points and J.D. Miller and Alex Robinson produced double-doubles as TCU withstood a late Baylor rally to win 85-81 in the Big 12 opener for both teams at Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday.

Miller had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Robinson contributed 18 points and 10 assists for the Horned Frogs, who improved to 12-1 overall.

After TCU’s R.J. Nembhard made two free throws to give the Horned Frogs — which led by as many as 19 points early in the second half — an 82-78 lead with 25 seconds left, Baylor’s Makai Mason converted a 3-point play on the Bears’ next possession.

Robinson was then fouled and made two free throws to give TCU an 84-81 lead with 16 seconds remaining. Mason missed a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left and Miller was fouled with 5 seconds left.

Miller iced the game, making one of two free throws to give the Horned Frogs (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) a two-possession lead.

Tristan Clark had 18 points and four assists to lead Baylor (8-5) while reserve guard Matthew Mayer had 17 points. Mason had 15 points and Mark Vital scored 11 points with four assists for the Bears.

TCU took a 40-28 lead into halftime behind 15 points by Bane on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, including him making both attempts from 3-point range.

The Horned Frogs never trailed after taking a 3-2 lead with 17:43 left in the first half. TCU outscored Baylor 10-3 to start the second half to pull out to a 50-31 lead with 16:37 left in regulation.

The Bears would trim the lead to 61-53 with 10:47 remaining but could not get closer in a back-and-forth stretch of 9 minutes, 6 seconds. TCU did not lead by more than 12 points during that stretch.

Baylor finally cut deeper into TCU’s lead, scoring seven unanswered points to trail 80-76 after two free throws by Mason with 1 minute left.

After consecutive missed one-and-one free throw opportunities by TCU’s Kendric Davis and Miller, Baylor cut the lead to 80-78 on a layup by King McClure with 31 seconds left.

Nembhard, who finished with 10 points, made his two free throw attempts after that with 25 seconds left.

—Field Level Media

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