TCU-Baylor Preview

BY foxsports • January 12, 2016

After the coaching staff urged him to become more aggressive, Baylor hopes Johnathan Motley is ready to make a breakout run through the Big 12 schedule.

Motley aims to build on the best game of his career as the 22nd-ranked Bears seek their third straight league win and 14th in a row overall at home Wednesday night against in-state rival TCU.

Motley displayed his potential over a three-game stretch Nov. 23-Dec. 2, averaging 19 points on 71.4 percent shooting, but he scored more than eight only once over the following eight contests - and that 23-point performance came in a 104-59 rout of Division-III Hardin-Simmons at Fort Hood on Dec. 16.

The sophomore forward again played like a rising star Saturday with career highs of 27 points and 13 rebounds in a 94-89 upset at then-No. 13 Iowa State. The Bears have dealt the Cyclones their only two losses in their last 32 games at Hilton Coliseum.

"My coaches have been telling me that I need to go out and dominate every time I step out onto the court, so it was just the kind of thing we had been talking about," said Motley, who was 13 of 15 from the floor and is shooting 60.3 percent this season.

Taurean Prince contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds to help Baylor win its second straight since a 102-74 loss at then-No. 2 Kansas in its league opener Jan. 2.

Lester Medford finished with 16 points and 11 assists without a turnover, and the Bears committed only five in the second half. Medford is averaging 13.3 points with a 4.4 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last six games.

"I think this is just a stepping stone for what we've got planned for the Big 12," Motley said. "We want to start stringing (wins) together and hopefully we can do some big things in the conference."

Rico Gathers hopes to bounce back after being held to four points and five rebounds. The senior forward, who had 17 and 17 in a 79-62 home win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 5, totaled 31 points and 35 rebounds in Baylor's two wins over TCU last season.

The Bears (12-3, 2-1) will try to continue their pursuit of a perfect home record after winning their past 13 in Waco dating to February by an average of 20.1 points. They've won seven in a row overall against the Horned Frogs (9-6, 1-2), winning the three meetings at home by 19 per game.

TCU seeks only its second back-to-back wins in its last 60 conference games after Saturday's 58-57 home win over Texas. Chris Washburn scored 14 points and was 5 of 9 from the field, including the go-ahead basket with 1:12 left, in his first start since returning from a broken right pinky.

Brandon Parrish had a team-high 15 points while hitting 5 of 6 from 3-point range, but leading scorers Vladimir Brodziansky (12.2) and Malique Trent (11.7) combined for just six on 1-of-6 shooting.

"It's on to the next one," coach Trent Johnson said. "There are a lot more good teams in this league and they're very talented. We have our work cut out for us moving forward."

TCU improved to 6-0 when holding an opponent under 40 percent shooting by limiting the Longhorns to 37.1, including 3 of 21 from long range. That should be a difficult trend to continue since Baylor has been held below 40 only three times - all losses.

The Horned Frogs haven't beaten the Bears since a 72-64 road win in December 2002.



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