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No. 1 Baylor looks to continue roll against swooning TCU

Defense continues to carry top-ranked Baylor through the season and will be a key when the Bears host swooning, but also defensive-minded, TCU on Saturday in Waco, Texas.

The Bears, in their second week atop the Associated Press poll, head home after another impressive Big 12 Conference road win, this one a 67-53 victory over Iowa State on Wednesday. TCU, meanwhile, travels south after a 62-61 loss at home to Texas in which the Horned Frogs had a chance to win but fumbled it away without a shot in the final seconds.

Baylor, winner of 17 straight games, was up by seven points at halftime and used a 15-2 run keyed by stifling defense in the middle of the second half to pull away from the Cyclones.

MaCio Teague scored 15 points and led a balanced offensive attack. Devonte Bandoo and Freddie Gillespie added 12 points each for Baylor (18-1, 7-0), with Davion Mitchell hitting for 10 points, and Mark Vital and Gillespie tying for a game-high nine rebounds for the Bears.

Baylor, as per the norm this season, ruled the glass and the paint, outrebounding the Cyclones 39-28 and scoring 44 points in the paint to just 22 for Iowa State.

"This is just a normal game for Freddie," Baylor coach Scott Drew said of Gillespie. "It's just what he does, and Mark (Vital) was really good. The dog days of February start to hit and you need depth."

With Wednesday's win, the Bears tied the 2011-12 team for the longest winning streak in school history. Four of those Big 12 wins have come on the road against Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

Baylor is off to its best start in conference play since the 1948 team won its first 10 games in the Southwest Conference.

"We're blessed to have great guys that really take (defense) seriously," Drew said. "Everybody just buys in and it's team defense. When you're switching as much as we are, everybody has to guard. Otherwise, you're going to fall apart, and they're going to find the weak link."

TCU had a final opportunity to snatch victory from defeat after forcing a Texas turnover with six seconds left. But RJ Nembhard could not control the ball and traveled with three seconds to play, allowing the Longhorns to escape with the win.

Kevin Samuel and Nembhard led TCU (13-7, 4-3) with 17 points each. Desmond Bane hit for 12 points for the Horned Frogs, who have lost four of their past five games.

"We've got to do a better job of executing, of doing what we are trying to do," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. "Given that we've lost four of the past five, there might be some question that we can get this done, but I told them that we can. We are fighting through some adversity. We can still be the team we thought we could be."

Samuel led the Horned Frogs in scoring for the second game in a row. He is averaging 15.5 points in his past four games.

TCU forced 17 turnovers against Texas and has now forced opponents to double-digit turnover totals in every game but one this year.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 31, 2020

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