Baylor Bears vs. Texas Christian Horned Frogs Pick & Prediction JANUARY 27th 2024

No. 15 Baylor hopes a midweek bye, the sting from a pair of close road losses and a return to its new home court will produce a win when the Bears face dangerous TCU on Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 Conference clash in Waco, Texas.

The Bears (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) return from a week’s respite after a 75-73 loss at Texas on Jan. 20, their second straight league setback after beginning the conference gauntlet with three consecutive wins.

“We’re just trying to stay positive in the locker room, stay together,” Baylor freshman guard Ja’Kobe Walter said. “No negative thoughts. Just going to get back to Waco, get back in the lab. Just get better and learn from it.”

In the loss to the Longhorns, Walter led all scorers with 22 points while Jalen Bridges tallied 17, Jayden Nunn racked up 15 and Langston Love scored 10. When Bridges hit a 3-pointer to tie the game in the final seconds, it was the Bears’ only field goal over the final nine minutes.

Baylor missed six straight shots before Bridges’ big basket from beyond the arc, which was followed by Tyrese Hunter’s winning hoop for Texas. The Bears did the bulk of their damage down the stretch on foul shots while keeping the game close.

“We got to the line, so that’s a good possession,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “We had a couple decent looks, but a lot of it is that it’s a game of seconds. … It’s an inch here, an inch there, and everything’s different.

“But we’ve got to do a better job of executing down the stretch. We’re 5-3 in close games, so it’s not like we haven’t been good in close games. But on the road, you’ve got to be better.”

The Horned Frogs (14-5, 3-3) head to Waco on the heels of a 74-69 win at league cellar-dweller Oklahoma State on Tuesday, a result that snapped a TCU’s two-game losing streak. Emanuel Miller racked up 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Horned Frogs. Micah Peavy added 16 points, and Avery Anderson III finished with 15 against his former school.

TCU hit 52.6 percent of its shots from the floor and held Oklahoma State without a field goal over the final 5 1/2 minutes.

“We haven’t been defensively what I thought we would be, but we did it in the second half,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “What I liked is all 10 guys were valuable for us again, and that is a positive for us. Going forward, they may not be playing as many minutes, but I think our depth helped us down the stretch.”

The Saturday game will mark the fifth time in seven contests that the Horned Frogs will face a ranked opponent. TCU’s three conference losses (at then-No. 2 Kansas, at Cincinnati and at home to then-No. 24 Iowa State, respectively) came by a combined seven points. The Horned Frogs’ three wins in the Big 12 were by an average of five points per contest.

Baylor owns a 104-86 edge in the all-time series against TCU, including a 55-38 advantage in Waco. The teams split their matchups last season, each earning a tight victory on the road.

–Field Level Media

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