NCAA Basketball

No. 7 Baylor attempts to get back on track vs. TCU

Seventh-ranked Baylor looks to halt a sputtering stretch when it entertains TCU in Big 12 play on Saturday at Waco, Texas.

The Bears (21-5, 9-4 Big 12) have split their past six games and are just 6-5 since the opening the season with 15 consecutive victories.

In fact, Baylor's 15-0 start culminated with a 76-64 victory on Jan. 8 at TCU (16-7, 5-6), which has dropped three of four games entering the rematch.

The Bears have twice lost to Texas Tech during the stretch, including Wednesday when the No. 11 Red Raiders controlled the second half while notching an 83-73 victory.

The contest was Baylor's first since losing big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua to a season-ending left knee injury last Saturday.

"We haven't had much time to practice since Jon's been gone," Bears coach Scott Drew said after the loss to Texas Tech. "It's going to take some time to adjust. It's kind of like starting over."

James Akinjo had a team-high 18 points against Texas Tech while Adam Flagler made four 3-pointers while scoring 14 points.

Flagler acknowledged the adjustment to not having Tchamwa Tchatchoua, who was averaging 8.4 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds off the bench.

"It's not going to be easy," Flagler said. "He's one of the best glue guys in the country. He does some amazing things, and we definitely miss him out there. It's a work in progress, but we'll figure it out and move on from there."

LJ Cryer (foot) returned from a five-game absence to score six points in 15 minutes. Cryer averages a team-best 13.5 points, just ahead of Akinjo (13.3) and Flagler (13.0).

Cryer has made 46.8 percent of his 3-point attempts, and his 52 treys are second on the team behind Flagler's 56.

The Horned Frogs finish the regular season with five of seven games coming against ranked foes, including two matchups with No. 6 Kansas.

The upcoming slate made Tuesday's 54-51 home loss to Iowa State difficult to swallow. TCU shot just 36.4 percent from the field and its point total was its second lowest of the season -- a 73-50 loss to Texas on Jan. 25 was the worst.

"We're obviously disappointed we couldn't get it done," Horned Frogs coach Jamie Dixon said afterward. "We weren't very good offensively the entire game. Defensively, we broke down a little bit in the second half and we got what we deserved."

TCU leading scorer Mike Miles (14.8 per game) never got going against Iowa State. He missed all eight of his field-goal attempts and scored a season-low three points.

"Interestingly enough, I thought he played good," Dixon said. "He really made some nice passes, some penetrations, and I thought he made some good reads. Obviously, he missed some shots, so sometimes shots don't go in, and obviously this was the case."

The bright spot for the Horned Frogs was the play of Eddie Lampkin, who scored a career-best 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Lampkin also collected nine rebounds.

In Baylor's Jan. 8 win over TCU, Flagler made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points and Akinjo added 20. Miles scored 26 for the Horned Frogs.

Baylor is 15-4 against TCU during Drew's 19-season tenure as coach.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 17, 2022

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