WACO, Texas (AP) — Kenny Chery and No. 19 Baylor were much better at home against TCU.
Forgot about that sub-30 percent shooting by the Bears in the first matchup a month ago. Chery put Baylor ahead to stay with a 3-pointer and 3-pointer in the first two minutes of the game and was one of the five players in scoring in double figures for the Bears in a 77-57 victory over the Horned Frogs on Wednesday night.
“We just wanted to be aggressive, making sure we made shots. … We just prepared the right way. Prepare this hard, and it shows,” said Chery, who was 3-of-13 shooting in the first game against TCU. “I just wanted to come out and be aggressive, get guys involved and get the team going.”
Rico Gathers had 14 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Bears (17-5, 5-4 Big 12), who put the game out of reach with a 13-0 run after TCU was within 45-39 with just over 15 minutes left.
Chery had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds for Baylor. Royce O’Neale scored 12 points, Taurean Prince 11 and Lester Medford 10.
Amric Fields had a season-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting to lead TCU (14-8, 1-8). Trey Zeigler and Kenrich Williams had 11 points each.
O’Neale opened the game-clinching spurt in the second half by converting a three-point before making a 3-pointer — reversing the sequence of the Chery start of the game-opening run. The Bears led 58-39 when Gathers made a layup with 12:45 left.
“That was ugly by us. Very non-competitive. I think we lost our composure about six minutes into second half,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “First time this group, this year, we got testy with one another, and it snowballed after that. I’m big on adversity, it reveals your character, tests your character. … We’ve competed and played much better than what we showed in the second half, so that’s very, very disturbing.”
After a pass to O’Neale for the 3 in Baylor’s big second-half run, Chery had another assist when he crossed midcourt and passed ahead to Al Freeman. The freshman guard took a stutter-step without traveling or putting the ball on the floor to get around defender Kyan Anderson for a layup. Freeman had a 3-pointer for the next Baylor points.
Baylor has won 17 of its last 18 home games. The lone loss in that span was by one point to No. 12 Kansas a month ago, four days before the Bears needed overtime to win at TCU while shooting 29.8 percent, their worst ever in a win under 12th-year coach Scott Drew. This time, they shot 49 percent (26 of 53).
“We did a lot better job executing on the offensive end from the first time we played time,” Drew said. “The first time they held us to 29 percent and only five assists. This time we had 19 assisted buckets on 26 field goals.”
TCU: Zeigler had his fourth straight double-figure scoring game for the Horned Frogs, and 10th this season. … Since becoming a Big 12 member, TCU is 0-8 against Baylor.
Baylor: The Bears have consecutive Big 12 victories by at least 20 points. They beat then-No. 19 Texas 83-60 on Saturday. “I hope it keeps going, but these are home games,” Drew said. … Baylor is 31-4 against in-state teams since the start of the 2011-12 season.
The one thing both schools agree on about the 106-year-old series is that Baylor has won the most games. The disparity is about how many games the Bears have won or how many games have been played between the schools. According to the Bears’ game notes, they now have a 96-81 series lead — including a 52-38 edge in Waco. The TCU notes put Baylor’s series advantage at 94-81, with a 49-37 edge in Waco. The first game in TCU history was a 37-6 loss at Waco in 1908-09.
TCU is home Saturday against No. 21 Oklahoma
Baylor plays at No. 15 West Virginia on Saturday.
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