FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Standout freshman Ja'Kobe Walter started a game-turning spurt for 15th-ranked Baylor with a slam dunk and ended it by blowing a kiss to the TCU student section after making a 3-pointer.

“They were saying ‘Airball’ after I missed ... but next one, I'm still shooting,” Walter said. “Knock it down. I had to shut them up, so blew them a kiss.”

Walter scored 13 of his 16 points after halftime and 7-foot freshman Yves Missi had 12 of his 16 in the second half of the Bears' 62-54 win Monday night. Jalen Bridges finished with 15 points while RayJ Dennis had nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

With a clear path to the basket, Walter bypassed a 3-pointer and drove instead for an emphatic slam. That ignited a 10-0 run that he ended with a 3 from the right corner near his bench and in front of the students. That put Baylor up 42-31 with 13:48 left, and was part of a bigger 19-2 spurt in which he also made another long-range shot.

Jameer Nelson Jr. had 11 points and Emanuel Miller 10 for the Horned Frogs (19-9, 8-7), who shot 33% (17 of 51). That included 10 consecutive misses to end the first half, and a span of nine misses in a row over 7 1/2 minutes after halftime.

Baylor's zone defense held TCU to a season low in scoring - just one day short of a month after TCU won 105-102 in triple overtime at Baylor.

“We just had a lot of motivation, and we just want to really focus on the defensive end,” Walter said.

“They played hard defense. They threw the zone out for 40 minutes, and we just had no answer,” Miller said. “This loss hurts. It definitely stings.”

Baylor led 25-23 at halftime after not a single point was scored in the final 4:57 of the half. The Frogs thought they had tied the game on a shot by JaKobe Coles at the buzzer that bounced on several sides of the rim before falling through, but a replay review showed the ball was still on his fingertips when the clock ran out.

While the Frogs missed 13 of their last 14 field goals of the first half, and all 10 after Miller’s three-point play with 8:58 left, they led 23-21 after Nelson made two free throws with 6:11 left.

The Bears weren’t much better, missing 10 of their last 11 shots, none after Dennis drove for a layup with with 5:24 left to tie the game. Two free throws by Jayden Nunn with 4:58 left were the final points of the half.


Baylor and TCU entered the game with identical records and part of a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big 12. The top four teams get byes into the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. TCU had been 3-0 against top-15 teams at home this season.


Baylor sophomore guard Langston Love sat out for the fifth time in six games because of an ankle injury. Love averages 11.1 points while not starting any of his 23 games. He got hurt Feb. 6 against Texas Tech, missed three games in a row, then reaggravated his injury against BYU last Tuesday.


Baylor closes out its home schedule with two games in a three-day span, Saturday against seventh-ranked Kansas and Monday against Texas.

TCU is on the road for its next two games, at BYU on Saturday and then at West Virginia on March 6.


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