WACO (AP) — Kenrich Williams finally got a hometown victory with No. 16 TCU, which needed overtime after again blowing a double-digit lead in the second half.
Williams, the TCU senior guard from Waco, had 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Horned Frogs in an 81-78 victory at Baylor on Tuesday night. That included the inbounds pass to Kouat Noi for the punctuating breakaway slam in the closing seconds.
“I can’t even explain the feeling. I’m just thanking the guys in the locker room,” Williams said. “Every time I come back home previous three years we’ve been beat by like 20. … I’m just excited. Feel like I won a championship.”
Personal feelings aside, this was a big victory for the Horned Frogs (13-1, 1-1 Big 12), who bounced back from their first loss.
They had been 0-11 against Baylor since joining the league five years ago. They were also coming off a one-point loss at home in their Big 12 opener to No. 7 Oklahoma after blowing a 13-point lead, ending their 17-game winning streak that was the longest in the nation and a school record.
Vladimir Brodziansky had 18 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime, for TCU.
After the Frogs blew a 12-point lead in the second half, they finally went ahead to stay on Brodziansky’s 3 from the top of the key with 1:29 left in overtime that made it 75-74. They stretched the lead on an inside shot by Noi before his late slam.
“That put the stamp on it,” Williams said.
“We won it, and we got it done” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “We’ve got to address the fact that we’re having 12-point leads, 13-point leads and these teams seem to get more aggressive down with that lead we have, and we have to respond to it in a better way, and finish it out.”
Jo Lual-Acuil had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (10-4, 0-2), which had a 14-0 run in the second half after giving up an 11-0 spurt before the break. Terry Maston had 20 points and nine rebounds.
All five TCU starters scored in double figures. Jaylen Fisher had 15 points, JD Miller had 13, Williams 12 and Desmond Bane 10.
Baylor’s Jake Lindsey drove for a layup with 17 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 64. TCU had plenty of time, but Bane’s open 3-pointer from the right wing ricocheted off the rim as time ran out.
“Wide-open shot by our best shooter. We did what we needed to do. That was good, good execution,” Dixon said. “Sometimes they don’t go.”
TCU: It was the 182nd meeting in the series between the instate rivals, but TCU had lost the first 11 Big 12 meetings by an average margin of 18 points.
Baylor: The Bears were much more themselves with the 7-foot Lual-Acuil back after he missed the Big 12 opener because of a sprained left foot. After their worst rebounding margin in 10 years, with Texas Tech outrebounding them by 18, Baylor had a 45-34 margin over TCU.
“I’m fine,” Lual-Acuil said. “I was excited to be able to help my team. Disappointed we lost.”
Maston played only his second game since breaking his shooting (right) hand against Xavier on Nov. 28. He was scoreless against Texas Tech.
“First game, I was a little shaky. I was kind of wanted to be hesitant of it and guard it,” Maston said. “But thanks to Coach Drew just talking me up I know I’m not going to hurt it any more and it’s stronger now than it was before”
TCU is home to play No. 10 Kansas, their first meeting since the Horned Frogs upset the then-No. 1 Jayhawks in the Big 12 Tournament last March.
Baylor is home Saturday to play Texas, then plays five of its next seven games after that on the road through the end of January.
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