With starting point guard Kenny Chery hitting his first three shots and keying an early 8-0, everything was going right for the Baylor Bears early and often against TCU. The resulst was a commanding 77-57 win, with 5-Bears scoring in double figures. Chery would end up with 13 points, While Ricardo Gathers led the Bears with 14 points and 17 rebounds. The Bears (17-5, 5-4 Big 12) never allowed TCU (14-8, 1-8) to get closer than 3 points the rest of the way, and not within 6 after halftime.
Baylor dominated this game in the paint, out-rebounding TCU 43-29 and by outscoring TCU 38-30 in the paint. With Rico Gathers carrying the load on the glass, all but one Bear who played in the game got at least 1 rebound. "What you love about Rico and a lot of the guys on this team is that they're always going to play hard, and when you do that each and every night you give yourself a chance, and it's fun to go play no matter where it's at knowing you have guys that aren't going to be intimidated," said Coach Scott Drew.
TCU was led by backup big man Amric Field s with 14 points, but shot under 36% for the game. Star point guard Kyan Anderson was just 3-9 from the field for 9 points. With TCU struggling to make shots, it put the Bears into their transition offense often. "Rico [Gathers] did a great job rebounding along with everybody else, and getting it out to Kenny [Chery] and Lester [Medford], pitching it ahead, and getting buckets in transition, which I think made things easier," said Coach Drew.
With TCU hanging around after halftime, down just 6 points, the Bears made their final push of the game with a 13-0 run. It started with 6 Royce O'Neale points with a layup and foul to go along with an open 3-pointer in transition. Al Freeman then chipped in a transition layup and 3-pointer and then punctuated by a Rico Gathers put back layup pushing the lead up to 19 points.
After that, the lead would never dip below 15 again, and would grow as high as 23. With the win, the Bears get over .500 for the first time in conference play in 2015 and look to continue their winning ways on the road against West Virginia Saturday morning.
Player of the Game
Rico Gathers - 14 points (5-12 shooting), 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks
Just call him Mr. Double Double. It was his 11th double double of the season, and his 6th career game with 15+ rebounds. Gathers is simply the best rebounder in the nation, using his strength and size to bully the opposition for rebounds, but he does not get enough credit for his instincts. He is tremendous at getting into the right position before the ball has even hit the rim. Just watch him right after the shot goes up. He is almost always on the correct side and knows the depth that he needs to be at depending on the distance of the shot. It is truly remarkable. With his improving offense game, Gathers is one of the best players in the Big 12, and a guy that is showing off his elite rebounding talent pretty much every single night.