Josh Campos, KC SportsNation
WACO, TX – If you didn’t read the title, don’t. I’ll paint a different picture for you; Kansas was down by 10 points in the first half. Then, Thomas Robinson was unable to play the final 4 minutes of the first half due to foul trouble. After that, Kansas scored 16 points in the final 14 minutes of the game. “How many points did Kansas lose by?” would be the logical follow-up question. Then I would respond; “Kansas won by 14 points (68-54).” It would be hard to believe until you learned the opponent was the Baylor Bears.
Early on it appeared as if Kansas’ streak of 227 consecutive games without back-to-back losses was seriously in jeopardy as all the momentum and energy was on Baylor’s mind from the 18-point loss earlier in Allen Fieldhouse. In the opening seconds of the game Baylor’s Quincy Acy scored a thunder jam to the lift the already raucous sold out Farrell Center. Early on, Kansas had 5+ turnovers in the opening minutes, which allowed the Bears (21-3, 8-3) to build a 10-point lead at 19-9. This game could have and would have turned ugly quick had it not been for junior center Jeff Withey – who was shut out against Missouri by a 6-6 Kim English – scoring a career-high 25 points. When Kansas offensively was inept, it was Withey who had 17 points in the first half.
Once enthusiasm was gone, Kansas (19-5, 9-2) went to work offensively. As in the previous matchup, the Jayhawks picked apart the Baylor zone, which was the big reason for Withey’s career-high. Robinson was only able to score four first-half points after heading to the bench early with two fouls, as Baylor led 27-19. Kansas then closed the half on a 14-3 run to lead at 33-30 and extended the run to 33-7 in opening up a 52-34 lead.
Tyshawn Taylor, who finished with 19 points, was instrumental in the Kansas run behind his hot 3-point shooting. After that, it was lights out as Kansas would lead by as much as 22 points until laziness and fatigue settled in for the Jayhawks. Baylor was able to make a late push behind Pierre Jackson’s team high 16 points as Kansas won 68-54.
Robinson finished with his NCAA best 16th double-double, with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Baylor is soft, as they proved once again. They folded up shop and went home while Kansas went on a 32-4 run.
Baylor opened the game with seven straight points after making its first three shots. They then missed their next five and KU tied the game at 7. Baylor scored 12 of the next 14 points to open up the 19-9 lead.
“We’re all embarrassed and disappointed by our play,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “Up 10 with 9:41 to go, and really the end of the first half was the beginning of the turning point. We should have finished with momentum going into the locker room. We didn’t.”
Player of the Game: Withey proved that he is Kansas’ X-Factor this season. He will not be going against a week zone like Baylor’s for the rest of the year. However, he will need to be the 3rd scoring option on this team. I’m sure he read and heard all of the criticism of his absence in the Missouri game.
|FG Made-Attempted||23-45 (.511)||20-54 (.370)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-14 (.429)||2-8 (.250)|
|FT Made-Attempted||16-21 (.762)||12-21 (.571)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||18 (0/0)|
|Points||J. Withey 25||P. Jackson 16|
|Rebounds||T. Robinson 11||Q. Acy 10|
|Assists||E. Johnson 5||P. Jackson 4|
|Steals||J. Withey 2||P. Jones III 4|
|Blocks||J. Withey 3||C. Jefferson 3|
|Team Stats: Kansas | Baylor|
|Thomas Robinson, F||32||6-11||0-0||3-3||1||11||1||0||1||5||4||15|
|Jeff Withey, C||29||8-10||0-0||9-11||2||5||1||2||3||6||4||25|
|Tyshawn Taylor, G||37||6-11||4-7||3-5||0||3||3||1||0||3||3||19|
|Travis Releford, G||24||0-1||0-0||1-2||2||3||3||1||0||2||2||1|
|Elijah Johnson, G||37||0-6||0-4||0-0||0||0||5||0||0||1||0||0|
|Conner Teahan, G||22||3-4||2-3||0-0||1||3||1||0||0||0||2||8|
|Kevin Young, F||10||0-2||0-0||0-0||1||3||3||1||0||2||4||0|
|Justin Wesley, F||8||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||0||1||0||0||3||0|
|Naadir Tharpe, G||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Quincy Acy, F||30||3-7||0-0||5-8||5||10||0||2||1||3||3||11|
|Perry Jones III, F-C||25||1-8||0-0||3-4||2||3||1||4||0||2||4||5|
|Brady Heslip, G||18||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Pierre Jackson, G||33||7-14||1-2||1-3||0||0||4||3||0||2||4||16|
|Quincy Miller, F||14||1-4||1-2||0-0||1||2||0||2||0||1||1||3|
|Fred Ellis, F||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Anthony Jones, F||11||1-3||0-1||0-0||1||4||0||0||0||1||0||2|
|Cory Jefferson, F||23||5-10||0-0||1-2||3||5||0||0||3||1||1||11|
|A.J. Walton, G||19||0-2||0-0||2-2||0||1||1||0||0||1||2||2|
|Gary Franklin, G||16||0-2||0-2||0-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|Deuce Bello, G||9||2-2||0-0||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4|
Rock Chalk Talk: Kansas Dismantles No. 6 Baylor In Waco
The Dagger: Kansas humbles Baylor, maintains grip on Big 12
KC Star: Kansas rebounds from loss, beats Baylor 68-54
Lawrence Journal-World: Jeff Withey bears down
Lawrence Journal-World: Baylor coach Scott Drew defends defense
ESPN.com: Rapid Reaction: Kansas 68, Baylor 54