Kansas knocks out Baylor, 73-68
WACO, Texas – Six threes from senior Lagerald Vick and some stingy Kansas defense helped the No. 7/9 Jayhawks take down the Baylor Bears, 73-68, Saturday afternoon inside the Ferrell Center. Vick led all scorers with 18 points and was closely followed by Dedric Lawson, who scored in double figures for the 12th time in his last 13 outings with his 17 points.
The win moved the Jayhawks to 14-2 on the year and to 3-1 in Big 12 play. Baylor dropped to 9-6 in its 2018-19 season and 1-2 in the league.
It was a stellar start for the Jayhawks, specifically on the defensive end. KU held the Bears without a field goal until the 9:34 mark of the opening half. In that span, KU notched six blocks and forced four Bear turnovers. Meanwhile, the lockdown defense helped Kansas build an 18-2 lead midway through the first frame with Ochai Agbaji’s dunk at the 10:30 mark.
But once the Bears got the lid off the rim, the buckets started to come in bulk. Baylor rebounded with an 18-4 run over the next six minutes to get itself back in the game, pulling within 22-20 with just under four minutes left before the break.
Kansas gained back control ahead of the intermission with an 11-3 run. Lagerald Vick hit his second 3-pointer of the game, which also handed him his 1,000th career point, and was followed by Agbaji, who connected from deep on KU’s next trip down the floor. Vick beat the buzzer with his third triple of the half to push the KU lead back to double figures as the two squads went to the locker rooms, 35-24.
The Jayhawks carried that momentum into the second half. Vick connected from deep again just over a minute after the restart and began a 14-4 KU run that got its lead back to a comfortable distance, 49-32, with Quentin Grimes’ triple at with 13:45 to play.
The KU lead swelled to 23 points with less than seven minutes to play as the Jayhawks held the Bears to just one field goal from the 11-minute mark to the six–minute mark.
With Kansas seemingly cruising to an easy double-digit win, the Bears made it interesting over the final minutes. The Jayhawks carried a 69-51 lead into the final three minutes of regulation, but some turnovers and missed free throws fueled Baylor’s efforts in one final comeback. BU outscored KU 17-4 in those final three minutes, cutting the Jayhawk lead to four points, 72-68 on Devonte Bondoo’s 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining. But that is as close as the home side could get as Kansas held off the later Bear charge to secure a 73-68 win.
Vick led the Jayhawks in scoring for the fifth time this season, going 6-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line to tally 18 points. Lawson wasn’t far behind, turning in 17 points to go along with a season-high five blocks and a career-high five steals. Devon Dotson and Agbaji were the other Jayhawks to score in double-figures, scoring 14 points and 10 points, respectively.
Kansas connected on 54.5 percent of its shots from the field, its second-highest shooting clip this season. Meanwhile, the Jayhawk defense held the Bears to 33.3 percent shooting with the help from a season-high 11 blocks.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
Kansas head coach Bill Self
“We played well. Other than about a four-minute stretch in the first half until the under-four (media) timeout (in the second half), that’s as dominant as we’ve been all year. We played well. We executed. We got the ball where we wanted to get it and defend it. They were better on the glass, obviously, until that point. Then the last four minutes – that’s on me – I sucked. Dedric (Lawson) said he was tired, Devon (Dotson) is playing a ton of minutes and we play again on Monday. So I thought surely we could bring home a 22-point lead, and then we find every way to screw it up, and Lagerald was a big part of that. Good gosh, (he) had no poise at all. In the backcourt, we threw it away twice, which led to four or five points (for Baylor). But the story shouldn’t be us playing terrible the last four minutes, the story should be that we got a good road win.”
On the team’s 11 blocked shots from flat-footed guys and without Udoka Azubuike in the lineup:
“Well, Dedric had five, but he had a couple – like the one where he blocked it off the backboard – that was a tremendous athletic play. We did a good job early in the game of getting some blocked shots (by) walling up and that’s what happens when you guard it right. We did some really good things early, get up 18-2 and then did some really poor things – they went on a 17-to-4 run and then we finish the half about perfect. And then (we) just totally dominated the second half until we quit playing at the under-4 (minute media) timeout. I’m disappointed in that, but I’m really glad we got it done and we definitely need to have some momentum going into the turnaround (of the next game, Monday night vs. Texas in Allen Fieldhouse).”
NOTABLES – Full Notes
- The win gave Kansas a 31-5 all-time series record against Baylor, including a 13-3 record in Waco with all the meetings in the Ferrell Center
- Kansas held BU without a field goal until the 9:34 mark of the first half. The Bears started the game 0-15 from field.
- After Baylor cut the KU lead to 22-20 with 3:52 to play in the first half, the Jayhawks responded with 22-8 stretch over the final 2:37 of the first half and the first six minutes of the second half.
- KU’s seven first-half blocks were its most in a half since KU notched seven blocks in the second half against Siena on Jan. 18, 2016.
- The Jayhawks’ 11 blocks for the game were a season high and their most since KU tallied 12 rejections against Nebraska on Dec. 10, 2016.
- The Jayhawks limited Baylor to 25 points in the first half, matching the lowest by an opponent in the opening half this season (Eastern Michigan, Oklahoma).
- Kansas shot above 50 percent (54.5 percent) for the seventh time this season and the 254th time during the Bill Self era. KU is now 245-9 since 2003-04 when shooting 50 percent or better.
- KU’s 44 field goal attempts were a season low, while Baylor’s 75 FGA’s were a season high for a Jayhawk opponent and the most against Kansas in a Big 12 game since Oklahoma’s 88 on Jan. 4, 2016.
- Kansas was outrebounded for the fourth time this season, the Jayhawks are now 3-1 in those games. KU posted a season low in rebounds (30) while giving up a season high (49). Baylor’s 49 rebounds are the most against KU since Oklahoma tallied 55 on Jan. 4, 2016.
- Baylor’s 19-rebound advantage ties for the most by a KU opponent since the 1988-89 season. Oklahoma held a +19 rebound differential against the Jayhawks (2/26/11).
- With his 3-pointer at the 1:45 mark of the first half, Lagerald Vick tallied his 98th, 99th and 1,000th points of his career. It made him the 61st player in KU history to score 1,000 points and the 16th player in the Bill Self era.
- Vick’s 6-of-8 clip from beyond the 3-point arc marked the fourth time this season he has tallied six or more triples. This makes him the first Jayhawk in the Big 12 era to post four or more games with six or more 3-pointers.
- Vick’s six threes moved him to 17th all-time with 150 career makes from 3-point range as he passed Elijah Johnson (147). Vick now trails Rex Walters (151).
- Dedric Lawson’s five steals marked a career high and the most by a Jayhawk this season.
The Jayhawks host their first Big Monday of the season when the Texas Longhorns come to Lawrence for the contest set for Monday, Jan. 14 on ESPN. Tip-off Allen Fieldhouse is set for 8 p.m. Kansas is 31-8 all-time against Texas, including a 16-1 advantage in Lawrence and a 14-1 edge inside Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have won 14 of the last 15 meetings with the Longhorns, including an 80-70 victory in the most recent meeting on Feb. 26, 2018.
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