Waco, Texas — MaCio Teague was hitting 3-pointers, Freddie Gillespie was playing strong inside and No. 1 Baylor won again, even with leading scorer Jared Butler struggling from the field.
Teague scored 19 points with five 3-pointers, Gillespie had a double-double plus six blocked shots and the Bears beat TCU 68-52 on Saturday for their program-record 18th win in a row.
Butler and TCU guard Desmond Bane, two of the Big 12’s top scorers, both went scoreless in the first half. But the Bears (19-1, 8-0 Big 12) had the depth to make up for Butler’s shooting woes.
“It makes a huge difference knowing that we can rely on guys when it’s an off night or an off half for somebody,” Teague said. “We got other guys to step up in Devonte (Bandoo), and even Matt Mayer who came in and made a big 3 at the end of the half.”
Teague made consecutive 3-pointers in a 36-second span — after Bandoo had hit a 3 — to cap a 14-0 run in the first half that put the Bears ahead to stay. Mayer, who had an alley-oop slam on a pass from Butler early in the game, hit a buzzer-beating 3 from the right wing for a 35-24 halftime lead.
“That’s a blessing having four great guards. One can have a bad night, two can have a bad night and you still can win,” coach Scott Drew said. “You don’t put together streaks unless you have depth because not everybody’s on every night.”
Teague hit two more 3s early in the second half before TCU made a run.
Bane, who entered as the Big 12’s second-leading scorer at 16.5 points per game, scored all 14 of his points after halftime. During a 13-2 run by the Horned Frogs (13-8, 4-4), he scored six in a row before a dunk by PJ Fuller got them within six at 51-45 with 8½ minutes left. That was the closest they would get.
“We eventually wore down and they stepped it up defensively and made it tough for us to get good shots,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “Our shot selection is something we’ve been working on and we’re trying to get better at but again as the game wore on it seemed to get worse.”
After the scoreless first half, Bane finished 5 of 14 from the field and ended up being the only TCU player to score in double figures. The Frogs did not score after his 3-pointer with 3:42 left.
Butler, who was the league’s fourth-leading scorer at 15.4 ppg, missed his first six shots. He finished with 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Gillespie finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, his eighth double-double for Baylor this season.
TCU’s Edric Dennis was hearing “air ball!” chants every time he touched the ball after missing the rim from long range on his first shot about 2½ minutes into the game. He heard it again after Gillespie swatted away his shot with 10:15 left in the half, but just more than a minute later, Dennis swished a 3 from the left corner to tie the game at 15.
But after Kevin Samuel’s putback dunk made it 17-all, TCU missed its next nine shots until he scored again more than six minutes later.
The Horned Frogs have lost five of six games overall since their first-ever 3-0 start in Big 12 play.
“There’s a lot of things we can be better at and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Dixon said. “It’s getting later here and this puts us at 4-4 in conference play, and they simply outplayed us pretty much in every facet.”
No. 2 Gonzaga 83, (at) San Francisco 79: Corey Kispert’s three-point play with 1:33 left put his team ahead for good and he added a jumper with 34 seconds remaining, helping Gonzaga extend its winning streak to 15 games.
Khalil Shabaaz made a 3-pointer with six seconds left to make it a two-point game in a furious, back-and-forth finish — and that described most of the second half. Admon Gilder made two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to seal the win.
Filip Petrusev had 23 points and 11 rebounds playing in foul trouble and Drew Timme scored 19 for the Zags (23-1, 9-0 WCC), who ran their West Coast Conference regular-season winning streak to 36 games for the longest such unbeaten run in the nation for a conference. USF (16-8, 5-4) had won its last two games.
(At) No. 3 Kansas 78, Texas Tech 75: Devon Dotson scored 21 points and Marcus Garrett added 15 points for Kansas.
The Jayhawks (18-3, 7-1 Big 12) led 76-75 with 14 seconds to play before Ochai Agbaji knocked down two free throws. The Red Raiders were unable to come away with a basket to complete the upset.
TJ Holyfield led Texas Tech (13-8, 4-4) with 19 points.
(At) No. 4 San Diego State 80, Utah State 68: With Kawhi Leonard watching from one baseline, Matt Mitchell scored 24 of his season-high 28 points in the second half – including three straight 3-pointers – to help rally No. 4 San Diego State to an 80-68 victory against Utah State on Saturday night and remain the nation’s only undefeated team.
San Diego State retired Leonard’s jersey at halftime and looked to be in trouble, trailing 39-31 after going cold for seven minutes and allowing the Aggies to go on a 14-0 run.
Leonard, who led the Aztecs to their greatest season nine years ago, watched as another Aztec from Riverside, Mitchell, helped save the night. Mitchell spent one season at Riverside’s King High – Leonard’s alma mater – before transferring.
With Mitchell turning red-hot, the Aztecs turned a 41-31 deficit into a 68-58 lead in a span of 13 minutes.
Mitchell scored 11 points in four minutes for SDSU (23-0, 12-0 Mountain West). His third straight 3-pointer, with 13:16 to go, gave SDSU a 50-49 lead.
Yanni Wetzell then had a steal and layup, and Mitchell made two free throws to extend the lead to five.
Utah State (17-7, 6-5) ended a two-minute scoring drought on Sam Merrill’s 3-pointer. Utah State tied it at 54 on Merrill’s jumper, but Mitchell hit two free throws to give SDSU the lead.
No. 5 Florida State 74, (at) Virginia Tech 63: Devin Vassell tied an ACC record by shooting 7 for 7 from 3-point range and scored 27 points to lift Florida State.
Vassell helped the Seminoles (18-3, 8-2) rebound from Tuesday night’s loss at Virginia that snapped a 10-game winning streak. Florida State remained a game out of first place in the ACC standings.
Tyrece Radford paced the Hokies (14-8, 5-6) with 18 points. Virginia Tech lost its third consecutive game.
(At) No. 6 Louisville 77, North Carolina State 57: Ryan McMahon made seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points for Louisville.
Jordan Nwora added 14 points for the Cardinals, who maintained their hold on the Atlantic Coast Conference lead with their eighth straight win. Louisville (19-3, 10-1) led by 17 points late in the first half and responded to an N.C. State (14-8, 5-6) run midway through the second half by pushing the margin right back out to 15 points.
C.J. Bryce scored 15 points for the Wolfpack (14-8, 5-6).
(At) No. 7 Dayton 70, Fordham 56: Trey Landers matched his season high with 18 points, Obi Toppin also had 18 and Dayton got its 16th straight win over the Rams.
The Flyers (20-2, 9-0 Atlantic 10) had little problem extending their streak against the Rams (7-14, 1-8). Dayton hasn’t lost to Fordham since Jan. 4, 2005, a 66-56 Rams win at the Rose Hill Gym.
Jalen Cobb had 22 points for Fordham.
Creighton 76, (at) No. 8 Villanova 61: Denzel Mahoney had 21 points and Mitch Ballock had nine of his 15 points in the second half to help Creighton defeat Villanova.
Ty-Shon Alexander added 16 points and Marcus Zegarowski scored 13 for the Bluejays (17-5, 6-3 Big East), who have won four in a row while avenging a 64-59 home loss to the Wildcats on Jan. 7.
Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore each had 18 points for Villanova (17-4, 7-2), which had won seven in a row.
No. 9 Duke 97, Syracuse 88: Vernon Carey Jr. had 26 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for the 10th double-double of his freshman season and Duke beat Syracuse.
Cassius Stanley keyed an early second-half surge and the Blue Devils (18-3, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their third straight after a two-game skid.
It was a crucial game for Syracuse (13-9, 6-5), which had a five-game winning streak snapped on the road at Clemson on Tuesday night and needed a signature win to bolster its resume for consideration for the NCAA Tournament.
Xavier 74, (at) No. 10 Seton Hall 62: Tyrique Jones had 19 points and 18 rebounds, and Xavier opened a big lead early and ended the Pirates’ 10-game winning streak.
Naji Marshall added 19 points and KyKy Tandy had 14 as the Musketeers (14-8, 3-6 Big East) beat the Pirates in every phase of the game.
Quincy McKnight led Seton Hall (16-5, 8-1) with 15 points before having to leave with an injury to his left knee with 6:02 to play.
(At) Stanford 70, No. 11 Oregon 60: Oscar da Silva scored a career-high 27 points and had 15 rebounds, helping Stanford rally in the second half to beat Oregon.
Stanford (16-5, 5-3 Pac-12) trailed 44-35 with 14 1/2 minutes left, then held the Ducks without a basket for the next 10 minutes. Tyrell Terry hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and the Cardinal used a 15-1 burst to take a 59-50 lead.
Will Richardson scored 17 points for the Ducks (18-5, 7-3), who fell out of first place and had their four-game winning streak snapped.
(At) No. 12 West Virginia 66, Kansas State 57: Derek Culver had 19 points and 14 rebounds to give coach Bob Huggins another milestone win. Huggins earned his 877th career win to move past Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp into seventh place in Division I.
The Mountaineers (17-4, 5-3 Big 12) bounced back from a loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday, improved to 11-0 at home and ended a three-game losing streak to Kansas State.
David Sloan scored 13 points and Xavier Sneed added 11 for Kansas State (9-12, 2-6).
(At) No. 17 Auburn 75, No. 13 Kentucky 66: Samir Doughty scored 23 points while making 14 of 15 free throws and Auburn finished strong in an NCAA Tournament rematch.
Isaac Okoro made a key 3-pointer and scored 14 points for the Tigers (19-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), who dominated the final four minutes.
It wasn’t nearly as big as their 77-71 overtime victory over the Wildcats (16-5, 6-2) that vaulted Auburn to its first Final Four last season, but it moved the Tigers into a tie for second place in the SEC.
Providence 65, (at) No. 16 Butler 61: Luwane Pipkins scored 22 points and made six consecutive free throws in the final minute for Providence.
The Friars (12-10, 5-4 Big East) snapped a three-game losing streak by beating a ranked team for the first time since March 19, 2018. It was also their first road win over a team in the AP Top 25 since Feb. 22, 2017.
Kamar Baldwin finished with 14 points and Justin Tucker had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (17-5, 5-4). Butler has lost two of its last three home games.
(At) Cincinnati 64, No. 21 Houston 62: Keith Williams scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and Cincinnati rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half.
Williams scored on a floater with 2:02 left, giving Cincinnati (14-7, 7-2 American Athletic Conference) its first lead, 61-59, since the Bearcats led 8-5. Williams followed with two free throws, generating roars from the sellout crowd of 12,189.
Houston (17-5, 7-2) already was struggling from the field in the last part of the second half when point guard Dejon Jarreau drew a technical foul and was ejected when the referees ruled that he bit Cincinnati’s Mamoudou Diarra with 6:16 left in the game.
(At) No. 22 LSU 73, Mississippi 63: Javonte Smart scored 13 of his season-high 21 points in the last 16 minutes and LSU extended its winning streak to 10 games.
Marlon Tayor had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman Trnedon Watford scored 13 points for LSU (17-4, 8-0 Southeastern Conference), which is off to its best start in conference play in 39 years.
Devontae Shuler scored a career-high 28 for Ole Miss (10-11, 1-7), which lost two straight and eight of its last nine.
(At) Tulsa 54, No. 23 Wichita State 51: Elijah Joiner caught an inbound pass with 3.3 seconds left and raced from one key to the next, connecting on a 3-pointer as time expired to give Tulsa a victory over Wichita State.
Hundreds of fans in the near-sellout crowd of 8,089 stormed the court in a wild celebration after Tulsa toppled another ranked visitor. In its previous home game, the Hurricane routed then-No. 20 Memphis 80-40.
Joiner shot 5-for-6 on 3s and scored 22 points for Tulsa (15-6, 7-1 AAC), which won its sixth in a row. Jaime Enchinique scored 15 for Wichita State (17-4, 5-3), but only two in the second half.