October 07, 2014

The numbers support the notion that Baylor plays better when it shares the ball, which certainly helps explain why the Bears struggled so much last month with TCU.

As it looks to build on some exceptional ball movement, No. 19 Baylor will try for its seventh win in a row over the reeling Horned Frogs on Wednesday night in Waco.

After finishing with eight assists and 13 turnovers in a 64-53 loss at Oklahoma State last Tuesday, the Bears (16-5, 4-4 Big 12) bounced back with 24 assists and nine giveaways in Saturday's 83-60 home rout of No. 19 Texas.

"It's just the guys' dedication," point guard Kenny Chery said. "After we lost to Oklahoma State, guys were already ready to watch film, learn from the mistakes we made and move on and prepare for the next game."

Chery shined with 23 points and five assists while committing two turnovers. Royce O'Neal contributed 20 points and five assists with one giveaway, and reserve Lester Medford added seven assists without turning the ball over. Coach Scott Drew's club is 13-0 this season when totaling at least 13 assists.

"I'll tell you, you can't get much more unselfish play than 24 assists and only nine turnovers," Drew said after his team's 17th win in 18 home games. "It was excellent offensive execution with guys making the extra pass."

Baylor is 77-4 dating to 2006-07 when recording more than 16 assists. However, it managed only five - the team's fewest since Dec. 18, 2010 - while committing 12 turnovers in a 66-59 overtime win at TCU on Jan. 10.

Rico Gathers had 17 points and 18 rebounds for Baylor, which overcame a season-low 29.8 percent shooting and a 1-of-12 effort from 3-point range. Chery, averaging 16.3 points in the last seven games, hit a season-worst 3 of 13 from the field and has shot 29.6 percent in four career matchups with the Horned Frogs.

TCU's opponents average just 9.1 assists, a category in which the Horned Frogs rank among the top 10 nationally, and they've forced 14.2 turnovers per game over their last 10. They're second in the Big 12 in points allowed at 58.8 per game - behind Baylor (58.2) - but are coming off their worst defensive performance. They let No. 11 Iowa State shoot 56.4 percent in Saturday's 83-66 loss.

However, the Frogs (14-7, 1-7) were within five points midway through the second half, and four of their other six league defeats were by seven or fewer. They've dropped four in a row overall - all to ranked opponents.

TCU went 1 of 8 at the foul line against the Cyclones and is among the worst free-throw shooting teams in the nation at 60.2 percent. Leading scorer Kyan Anderson tops the conference with an 87.8 mark but failed to get to the line Saturday and was 3 of 13 from the field for eight points.

Anderson has averaged 20.7 points in his last three meetings with the Bears after scoring 16 in the January defeat.

Taurean Prince finished with 17 points and 10 boards to help Baylor own a 49-41 edge on the glass in the first matchup. With Gathers among the national leaders at 12.0 per game, the Bears sit third in the country with a plus-10.0 rebounding margin.

The Horned Frogs haven't defeated Baylor since Dec. 7, 2002, and have lost 19 straight against Top 25 opponents.

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