TCU has shown that it lacks the offense to run with much of the competition in the Big 12.
And that lack of offense spells doom for the Horned Frogs when the opponent builds a sizable lead.
Mounting a ferocious comeback, perhaps similar to the one Hank Thorns led in an overtime win against UNLV a year ago, seems almost impossible for this year's Frogs.
So when Baylor broke open a relatively close game near the end of the first half Saturday afternoon at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, the announced crowd of 6,277 -- filled with a large contingent of Bears fans -- saw the writing on the wall, if not the scoreboard.
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Baylor 82, TCU 56.
Up by eight with 6:34 remaining in the half, the Bears (14-5, 5-1 in the Big 12) went on an 18-2 run in a three-minute span to build a 24-point lead. The run culminated with a five-point possession for Baylor with 3 minutes left in the half when Arlington Grace Prep graduate Isaiah Austin was fouled on a dunk and TCU coach Trent Johnson was called for a technical foul. Pierre Jackson made both free throws and Austin made his.
"It was a good old-fashion butt-whipping," Johnson said. "They beat us every which way but loose."
TCU (9-11, 0-7) is off to its worst conference start since going 0-9 in the Southwest Conference in 1979. TCU allowed Baylor a season-high in points after holding the Bears to 51 on Jan. 12 in Waco.
TCU counterpunched with a 9-2 run to end the first half, but the Bears' 17-point lead was more than enough to make the Frogs' best defense -- a slow-paced, bal- control offense -- a moot point.
"When the score got a little separated, that leads to a faster-paced game," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "To catch up, you have to play a little faster. That spurt where we were able to get separation was really important for that. When they made a run at the end of the half, it still put us in a position where we had a [big] lead at halftime and now, as the game got a little faster pace, that helps us, obviously."
Baylor led by more than 20 the final 17:20 of the game as Jackson led the Bears with 20 points and five assists. Austin had 18 points and Rico Gathers added 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
The Frogs were led by Adrick McKinney's 15 points and eight rebounds. Connell Crossland had 12 points, giving him his first consecutive games with 10 or more points of his career.
Devonta Abron was a nonfactor offensively again for TCU. He was 0-for-3 from the field with no points and two rebounds before fouling out. Garlon Green also struggled for the second consecutive game. He was 1-for-7 with six points.
"I'm not going to sit here and dwell on the amount of open shots we missed," said Johnson, whose team shot 33 percent. "But I will dwell on if a guy is not setting a screen early in the game."
He pointed to Abron, who failed to set a few screens early.
"He's trying to go one on two when Kyan [Anderson] is sitting in the corner wide open. Those kinds of things tell me a guy is not listening, guys aren't playing for the uniform, they're playing for themselves. That's the kind of stuff that bothers me. It's way too early for that.
"It's not about your talent level and who's not out there. It's about playing well, about playing the game right."