In possibly their finest 12 minutes of basketball of the 2013-2014 season, the Baylor Bears took a 6 point game and turned it into a 26 point route by halftime. The Bears had a 22-6 run that got them a comfortable lead, and then an 11-0 run to close the half, and pretty much close the door on the Horned Frogs chances.
The Bears were led by Taurean Prince, who had a career high 23 points, but was helped by 4 other Baylor players that scored in double digits. This was a balanced effort by the Bears, who shared the load all over the box score. Five players scored in double figures, 3 players had 8 or more rebounds, and 3 players had 4 or more assists.
The end result is an 88-62 win for the Bears that moves them to 1-1 in Big 12 play and gets them back into the win column.
Stats to Ponder
- This was the Bears 13th home game win in a row
- Baylor's 21-21 from the free throw line set a school record for highest FT% as well as most made in a game while being perfect
- Baylor's bench outscored the Horned Frogs 52-9
- Baylor had 24 offensive rebounds, compared to 25 total rebounds for the Horned Frogs
Key Storylines of the Game
1. Owned the glass – Quite simply, Baylor won this game on the glass, out-rebounding the Horned Frogs by a staggering 54-25 margin. The Bears outmuscled, our worked and simply out skilled the Frogs in the rebounding game. Cory Jefferson led the charge with 14 rebounds, but Rico Gathers added 12 and Isaiah Austin chipped in 8. Every player that played more than 10 minutes did their part, with all 9 players collecting at least 1 rebound.
2. Brady Heslip and the 3-point line – The Bears did not shot very well for the game, making only 42.9% of their shots, and they especially struggled from behind the 3-point line. Well, every Bear not named Brady Heslip did. The senior 6th man was a sizzling 5-10 from 3-point range, while the rest of the Bears made just 2-13. Gary Franklin struggled mightily with his shot, not making any of his four tries from behind the arc. Brady carried the load for the outside shooters, and did it in spite of some defenses focused on taking that option away from the Bears attack.
TCU switched quite ab it on pick and rolls, and would also hedge hard with the screeners man. But Braydy hit contested shots, while coming hard off of curls or screens. Last year, Heslip struggled when he could not set his feet and make sure everything was in line. This year, Brady is simply hitting shots in every single way.
3. Taurean Prince Continues to shine – The sophomore forward is slowly turning into the barometer of success for the Bears. He is the energy man off of the bench that sometimes wakes the Bears up. Prince came into the game for the first time at the 14:31 mark and the score was 12-11 Bears. He would leave after a 4 minute stretch on the court and the Bears lead would be 8 points. All he did during that four minute run was get three steals while playing tremendous defense in the corner of the Bears zone look, and block a shot.
His next time in, the Bears lead was at 9 points, and by the time Taurean left the game again with 1:29 left, he would have 11 points and see the Bears lead extend to 19 points. His imprint was all over the game, especially on the offense end during some key stretches of success for the Bears. His ability to break down his defender has taken a huge step forward this year, and his touch around the rim has also improved. But when he is hitting long jumpers or even three-pointers, he is as good as an offensive weapon that the Bears have.
The Bears did what they had to do. They took care of a less talented team in dominating form and made sure the game was never in doubt in the second half. Baylor dominated physically on both sides of the court . Cory Jefferson dominated on the glass and in his matchup with Amric Fields, holding him to 7 points on 3-9 shooting. Baylor also didn't hurt itself too badly with turnovers, losing only 10-7 in the turnover battle. They got out to a big lead, and never let the Frogs get back to within 19 points, holding them at bay the entire second half and getting to 1-1 in Big 12 play.