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Baylor freshman Walter has big 2nd half to lift No. 15 Bears over TCU

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Ja'Kobe Walter scored 13 of his 16 points after halftime, and the standout freshman started and capped a game-turning spurt by 15th-ranked Baylor in a 62-54 win over TCU on Monday night.

Yves Missi, a 7-foot-freshman, also finished with 16 points and Jalen Bridges scored 15 as the Bears (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) snapped a two-game skid. RayJ Dennis had nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

With a clear path to the basket, Walter bypassed a 3-pointer and drove instead for a slam dunk. That ignited a 10-0 run that he ended by making a 3 and then blowing a kiss to the TCU students who had been chanting “Airball!” after an earlier miss. That put Baylor up 42-31 with 13:48 left, and was part of a bigger 19-2 spurt in which he also made another long-range shot.

Jameer Nelson Jr. had 11 points and Emanuel Miller 10 for the Horned Frogs (19-9, 8-7), who made 33% (17 of 51) of their shots. That included 10 consecutive misses to end the first half, and a span of nine misses in a row over 7 1/2 minutes after halftime.

The poor shooting effort came just one day short of a month after TCU won 105-102 in triple overtime at Baylor.

Baylor led 25-23 at halftime after not a single point was scored in the final 4:57 of the half. The Frogs thought they had tied the game on a shot by JaKobe Coles at the buzzer that bounced on several sides of the rim before falling through, but a replay review showed the ball was still on his fingertips when the clock ran out.

While the Frogs missed 13 of their last 14 field goals of the first half, and the last 10 after Miller’s three-point play with 8:58 left, they led 23-21 after Nelson made two free throws with 6:11 left.

The Bears weren’t much better, missing 10 of their last 11 shots, with none after Dennis had a driving layup with 5:24 left to tie the game at 23-all. Two free throws by Jayden Nunn with 4:58 left were the final points of the half.


Baylor and TCU entered the game with identical records and part of a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big 12. The top four teams get byes into the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. TCU had been 3-0 against top-15 teams at home this season.


Baylor closes out its home schedule with two games in a three-day span, Saturday against seventh-ranked Kansas and Monday against Texas.

TCU is on the road for its next two games, at BYU on Saturday and then at West Virginia on March 6.


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