🏀 Baylor Uses Late Surge to Top Kansas
WACO, Texas – Despite 27 points from senior Ochai Agbaji, the Kansas Jayhawks were outlasted by the Baylor Bears, 80-70, Saturday night at the Ferrell Center.
The fifth-ranked Jayhawks dropped to 23-5 on the season and 12-3 in Big 12 play. No. 10/11 Baylor improved to 24-5 on the year and 12-4 in league play. The back-and-forth affair featured five ties and three lead changes, with the Jayhawks leading for more than 25 minutes of the road contest.
However, Baylor ended the game on a 17-7 run to break a tie late and secure the win to split the two-game season series at one. The Bears had four players score in double figures in the win and had one more add nine points in a balanced attack.
Kansas controlled the game early and jumped on Baylor. The Jayhawks opened the game on a 16-4 run that was capped by an offensive put-back from David McCormack. Agbaji and Christian Braun both had 3-pointers during the run and McCormack had a pair of buckets.
The Jayhawks led by as many as 13 points in the first half – reaching that lead three different times. However, Baylor closed the first half strong, closing into the Kansas lead. After Remy Martin hit a jump shot in the lane to put Kansas up five at 30-25 with 2:23 to play, Baylor scored the next four points to cut the lead to one with 1:07 to play in the half.
Kansas got a dunk from K.J. Adams to push it to three, but two free throws from Baylor’s Matthew Mayer with 34 seconds left cut Baylor’s halftime deficit to one at 32-31.
Baylor immediately took the lead in the second half on a dunk from Kendall Brown and stretched it to three shortly after. But Agbaji then scored seven straight points to give Kansas a four-point lead at 39-35 with 17:28 to play. Agbaji had two free throws, a dunk and a 3-pointer during the mini-run.
The lead got to five for the Jayhawks at 46-41 just less than two minutes later. From there, neither team led by more than four for the next six-plus minutes with both top ten teams trading blows in front of 10,628 fans.
The Bears controlled the final three minutes, breaking the late tie and holding serve on their home court.
Braun had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the loss for the Jayhawks for his second double-double of the season. McCormack notched his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He has three double-doubles in his last four games. Baylor was led by Flo Thamba’s 18 points.
The Jayhawks will play their second-straight game in Texas when they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU on Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m., on Big 12 Now on ESPN Plus.