Despite cold shooting from Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, Kansas persevered in Waco and emerged with a big-time win over the Baylor Bears.
Baylor opened up the game on a 10-4 run as Kansas attempted - and missed - several jumpers due to questionable shot selection. After Baylor took a 15-6 lead just seven minutes into the game, KU finally got the offense going, tying it up at 15-all with a Landen Lucas dunk with 10 minutes until halftime. Baylor would quickly re-establish a lead again, getting up 10 points on Kansas at 33-23 with just 1:47 until halftime. A couple of late, clutch threes by Frank Mason and Josh Jackson meant Baylor would take just a six point lead into the break, 35-29.
Kansas made a run at Baylor in the first five minutes of the second half, keeping the game within striking distance. The Jayhawks finally tied it up at 47-all on a Lagerald Vick layup with 11:28 to go, and took their first lead of the game on their very next possession on a Frank Mason jumper. After building a five-point, 52-47 lead, Baylor came storming back with a 9-0 run.
Kansas would fight back to tie the game at 65-all with just 2:16 to play on a pair of Devonte Graham free throws. Nobody would score again until Johnathan Motley fouled Landen Lucas with 12 seconds left. The nearly sold-out Ferrell Center watched a 62% free throw shooter nail two in a row, giving Kansas a 67-65 lead. This time, Scott Drew used his timeout to set up a play, which was apparently “Hey Manu Lecomte, you get the ball and dribble around and put up the worst shot you can find.” Lecomte’s shot wasn’t close, and Kansas left Waco with the 67-65 win.
This and That
Kansas leads the Big 12 race by 3 games with 4 to play. Barring something absolutely crazy, the Jayhawks have cinched their 13th consecutive Big 12 title.
Kansas never led in the first half.
Devonte Graham really struggled in this one, hitting just 1 shot out of 12 attempts, including 1-9 from behind the arc. He did contribute 7 rebounds and 4 assists, however.
Frank Mason led all scorers with 23 points on 7-12 shooting, and canned all eight of his free throw attempts.
Josh Jackson had another solid game, putting up 16 points on 7-14 shooting and adding four blocks.
Kansas hit just 5-20 (25.0%) three-point attempts.
Meanwhile, Baylor hit 8-18 (44.4%) from behind the arc.
However, in a pleasant change of pace, KU hit 16-20 (80.0%) free throws.
Courtesy of @jayhawkvideo on Twitter:
Jackson throws down the oop!
Josh Jackson throws down the oop! https://t.co/CzHZR9pDGg— Jayhawk Video (@JayhawkVideo) February 18, 2017
Another Jackson throwdown:
Josh Jackson throws it down in transition! https://t.co/YeIVxdV9ZS— Jayhawk Video (@JayhawkVideo) February 18, 2017
Jackson 3 right before halftime:
Josh Jackson drills the 3 as time expires! pic.twitter.com/uKJSQMwMEK— Jayhawk Video (@JayhawkVideo) February 18, 2017
And one more JJax dunk of the dish from Mason:
Josh Jackson dunks it over the Baylor defender off the dish from Frank Mason! https://t.co/42pzlP8wQL— Jayhawk Video (@JayhawkVideo) February 18, 2017
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Feb 22, when they will host TCU at 6 PM.
We’ll have more on the Baylor game over the next day or two, but for now, the comments section is yours.