TCU Falls Late to Baylor Wednesday, 76-68
March 12, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - No. 10 seeded TCU pushed No. 7 seeded Baylor to the final buzzer Wednesday night in the opening round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, pulling within six in the closing minutes, but couldn't complete the comeback, dropping a hard-fought 76-68 decision inside the Sprint Center.
The Horned Frogs, who shot 42 percent from behind the arc Wednesday and outscored the Bears in the second half, used a 14-2 run to make it a 69-63 game with 2:34 showing on the clock, which was capped off by a thunderous dunk by senior Jarvis Ray. The Bears though had other ideas down the stretch and were able to respond in the final minute to avoid one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.
Several players stepped up for the Frogs as four scored in double-figures, including freshman Karviar Shepherd who posted a career-high 19 points on 6-for-11 from the field. The Dallas product, who also recorded a team-high seven boards, midway through the second half scored nine-straight for TCU to make it a 14-point game. Kyan Anderson and Ray added 17 points apiece, respectively, while sophomore Christian Gore added 11 points on 4-of-5 from the floor.
Cory Jefferson led the way for Baylor (22-10; 9-9 Big 12) with 20 points and 10 boards. Isaiah Austin added 18 points, while Royce O'Neale finished the night with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
With the loss, the Horned Frogs closed their season at 9-22 overall and said goodbye to senior's Ray and Thomas Montigel, who made several big plays during pivotal moments in the second half with the game still in doubt.
Anderson made it a 39-30 game early in the second half, dropping his third triple of the game, but Baylor would attack back to take a 47-30 lead a few minutes later before Hudson Price synched the nets from deep to pull the Frogs closer at the 16:09 mark.
With the scoreboard reading 49-35 in slight favor of the Bears, Gore rattled home a triple to move the Purple and White within 11. On the following possession, Ray found the bottom of the net and the Frogs appeared to have something cooking at the 14-minute mark of the second half, now down only 49-40 off a 5-0 run.
Another bucket by the senior at the midway point made the scoreboard read 51-42 and the Frogs were playing inspired basketball. He then watched as Gore and Shepherd both connected on back-to-back trips and the Frogs were only down 53-46 with 11:42 showing on the clock.
Baylor would go on a 12-3 run to open a 65-49 lead, but the Frogs would keep fighting as Shepherd laid in a floater to inch TCU closer. In all, the freshman scored nine-straight to make it a 65-53 game before Anderson hit two at the charity stripe to pull the Frogs within 10 down the stretch.
A few plays later, Ray found the bottom of the net off a triple and the Purple and White were in business, now down only nine with a little over five minutes to go. The senior would continue his momentum and electrify the crowd at the 2:20 mark, making it a six-point ballgame at 69-63 off a steal and dunk. TCU wouldn't get any closer the rest of the way.
Baylor jumped out to a 15-3 lead early before Anderson tickled the twine from deep to beat the shot clock at the 15:19 mark to stall the Bear attack. A few moments later, Gore hit from deep and the Frogs continued to inch closer midway through the opening frame of play despite Baylor opening the game hitting its first three triples.
With TCU trailing 22-9, Ray found pay-dirt, but the Bears responded with a dunk on the other end before Gore ripped the nets again from deep to make it a 24-14 game at the 8:34 mark.
The two teams would go back and forth the next couple of trips, but Baylor and Jefferson moved the score to 32-18 before Anderson went back to work on the offensive end by dialing up a triple and a jumper on consecutive trips down the stretch to pull the Frogs within 34-23.
A late flush by Ray in the closing minute off a beautiful one-handed dish from Anderson made it a nine-point game, but the Bears were able to take a 39-27 lead into the break.