Sports

Gathers leads Baylor in rout of TCU

Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Rico Gathers pulled down 17 rebounds while pacing a balanced Baylor attack with 14 points as the 19th-ranked Bears cruised to a 77-57 victory over TCU in Big 12 action.

Four other players finished in double figures in the Bears' fifth win in their last seven conference games, a stretch that began with a 66-59 overtime squeaker at TCU on Jan. 10.

Kenny Chery had 13 points with six assists for Baylor (17-5, 5-4 Big 12), with Royce O'Neale chipping in 12 points and Taurean Prince and Lester Medford netting 11 and 10, respectively.

"I think we did a lot better of a job executing on the offensive end from the first time we played them," Bears head coach Scott Drew remarked.

TCU (14-8, 1-8), which has now dropped five straight -- all to ranked teams -- during a murderous portion of its schedule, was led by Amric Fields' 14 points. Kenrich Williams and Trey Zeigler each scored 11 in defeat.

Baylor began the game on an 8-0 run and never trailed at any stage, with its lead expanding to 11 midway through the first half when Medford netted the final five points of a 7-0 surge.

The Horned Frogs fought back to get within 26-23 on Fields' 3-pointer with 4:13 remaining in the period, but Chery answered with a triple of his own and Gathers tipped in his own miss to give the Bears some cushion.

Five straight points from Prince, who had 11 along with Chery for the half, had Baylor back up by double digits before Fields' second-chance bucket trimmed the margin to 37-29 at the break.

"I thought it was great to get off to that start, and I think at the end of the first half, and really how we started the second half as well," said Drew.

TCU was down just 45-39 early in the second half when the Bears put it away by ripping off 13 straight points. O'Neal accounted for the first six and Al Freeman the next five prior to Gathers' inside basket that pushed the lead to 58-39 with 12:45 to play.

"We didn't respond very well," said TCU head coach Trent Johnson. "We're a much better team that competes and plays much better than we showed in the second half. That was very disturbing."

Baylor maintained a comfortable advantage the rest of the way, with its margin as high as 23 points at 73-50 with four minutes left.

Game Notes

TCU has also lost to Texas, West Virginia, Kansas and Iowa State during its skid, and hosts 21st-ranked Oklahoma Saturday before visiting the Longhorns next Wednesday ... Baylor finished with a 43-29 advantage on the glass ... Gathers posted 17 points and 18 rebounds in last month's meeting between the schools ... The Bears registered 19 assists and are 14-0 this season when having 13 or more in a game ... The Horned Frogs have never beaten Baylor in eight all-time matchups as a Big 12 member.