Kansas tops Baylor, completes undefeated season at home
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the 20th time in its history, Kansas posted an unbeaten record at Allen Fieldhouse as the No. 13/14 Jayhawks closed out the regular-season campaign with a 78-70 win over the Baylor Bears Saturday afternoon. Redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson collected his 20th double-double of the year in scoring a team-high 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Jayhawks collected their 12th league win for the 19th-straight season.
The victory, Kansas’ 21st-consecutive at home, moved the Jayhawks to 23-8 on the year and 12-6 in Big 12 play. Baylor fell to 19-12 in its 2018-19 season and 10-8 in the league.
The opening half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to gain an advantage of more than five points. David McCormark was a force the Baylor defense had difficulty stopping over the first 20 minutes. The freshman forward poured in 10 of his 12 points on the day in the opening half, including three-straight field goals to help KU build a 22-18 lead with just under eight minutes to play in first frame.
After keeping Baylor, the league’s top 3-point shooting team, largely at bay from deep over the early portion of the contest, BU’s Devonte Bandoo connected on two-straight triples to pull the score even at 24-24 heading into the final five minutes prior to the intermission
Devon Dotson’s first 3-pointer of the day gave the Jayhawks a five-point lead with 1:07 to play in the half, however BU’s Matthew Mayer hit a fall away jumper just before the buzzer to pull his squad within three points, 32-29, at the break.
Kansas jumped on the Bears in the minutes following the intermission. Freshmen Devon Dotson and McCormack each converted on lay-ups before Lawson tallied a pair of buckets to push the KU lead to 40-29 less than three minutes into the second half.
After a Scott Drew timeout, the Bears responded with a 6-0 run of its own to cut its deficit to five points just five points two minutes later. But a flagrant foul whistled on BU’s Flo Thamba gave Lawson a pair of free throws and Kansas possession. KU converted that extra possession into two more charities from Lawson, which saw KU flip the Baylor momentum and regain a nine-point advantage, 44-35, just over five minutes into the second half.
Kansas kept the visitors at arm’s length from there as Lawson’s prowess from the free throw line and a pair of 3-pointers from Quentin Grimes. Grimes’ triple at the 11:18 mark put the Jayhawks ahead 54-40.
The Bears made one late push in the waning minutes of regulation and managed to cut the KU lead to six points, 72-66, but four free throws from Dotson as well as a bucket from Lawson helped the Jayhawks close out the 78-70 victory.
Lawson led the team in scoring for the fifth-straight game scoring 23 points, which included an 11-of-12 clip from the charity stripe. Dotson added 15 points to go along with three rebounds and a pair of steals, while McCormack finished with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting as well as five rebounds.
Kansas closed out the day holding Baylor to 19.4 percent shooting from 3-point range. The Bears, which entered the day shooting a Big 12-best 38.7 percent from deep, when 6-of-31 from beyond the arc.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
Head coach Bill Self
“I’m tired because that was painful and tiring to watch. That was not very pretty at all. Even though we got the shots we wanted offensively we got the ball in the middle of the zone at will, we got it on the block, and when we played down there we were 9-of-13 from 3(-point attempts) and today we were 6-of-16 … The building didn’t have a lot of energy and our guys, a couple of individuals maybe didn’t have the same energy they been having just because of the situation, maybe fatigue, or whatever. But it was a good win. I’m not going to apologize for beating Baylor by eight (points) at home. They’ve played us much closer than that each of the last three or four years, so it was a good win and we’ll take it, certainly, but we have to get ready to go to Kansas City.”
On David McCormack play today:
“I thought he played terrific, I should’ve played him more, he was our best offensive player in the first half and made some good strong moves. The first move he had, he didn’t go to his left hand jump hook and ended up taking a bad shot but after that I thought he was really good.”
Kansas freshman F David McCormack
On if his improved performance is due to the game starting to slow down for him, or his confidence increasing, or a bit of both:
“I’d say it’s a little bit of both. Having the advantage to watch Dedric (Lawson) and Dok (Udoka Azuibuike) early on, when I didn’t get as much playing time, was an advantage to me. I watched how they played and there were situations where I would do the same.”
On the importance of Dedric Lawson in the second half:
“He had a major impact. Like he said, we were up four before the flagrant (foul), and then from there he just kind of was tormenting everybody and was snatching every rebound that we needed offensively and defensively, so he really helped the team against a big-time opponent.”
NOTABLES – Full Notes
- The win gave Kansas 23 victories for the 30th-consecutive season, beginning in 1989-90
- The victory also gave KU 12 league victories for the 19th-straight year, beginning in 2000-01
- Kansas has now won 36-straight home season finale wins, a streak which started in 1983-84
- The win also concluded Kansas’ 20th undefeated season in Allen Fieldhouse and its first since going 16-0 in 2015-16
- KU is now 17-0 at home this season and extend its home court winning streak to 21 games, 20 in Allen Fieldhouse
- Kansas held the Bears, the Big 12’s most-accurate 3-point shooting team entering the day, to a 0-for-10 start from 3-point range through the game’s first 13 minutes.
- Kansas assisted on eight of their 12 makes in the first half.
- Since Texas Tech (Feb. 23) shot 61.5 percent from beyond the arch, the Jayhawks have not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in the four games since.
- Baylor’s 22 second chance points were the most by a KU opponent this season, and the most since Oklahoma State tallied 26 points off offensive boards on Feb. 3, 2018.
- RS-Junior forward Dedric Lawson tallied his 20th double-double of the season and the 56th of his career as he scored 23 points and hauled in 14 rebounds. He is now in sole possession of 5th place on Kansas’ single season double-doubles list.
- Lawson became just the third Jayhawk to tally 20 double-doubles in a season during the Bill Self era. (Thomas Robinson – 27 in 2012, Cole Aldrich – 21 in 2009.)
- Finished with a team and season-high 11 made free throws. It was the third time this season Lawson has finished with double-digit makes from the free throw line and his first time since Dec. 1, 2018 against Stanford.
- Over his last four games, Lawson is 29-for-31 (93.5 percent) from the free throw line.
- Freshman guard Devon Dotson moved into 12th place all time total points scored in a single season as a freshman with 364.
Kansas will enter the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, March 13-16, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, as the No. 3 seed. Unofficially, KU will play the No. 6 seed Texas in the event’s quarterfinals on Thursday, March 14, at 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN or ESPN2. Kansas is 74-27 all-time in postseason conference tournaments, including a 44-11 record in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks have won 15 league tourney titles with 11 of those in the Big 12 era and its last in 2018. Kansas is 19-3 in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals.
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