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Baylor Offense Goes into Hibernation, Bears Lose 83-59 in Kansas

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NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in Phog Allen without their leading scorer, #8 Baylor (19-4) needed a near-perfect game from the rest of the team if they wanted to win.

It only took a few minutes to realize that was not going to happen. Baylor lost by 24, their largest defeat of the season, but even that belies just how poorly the Bears played.

First Half

After Kendall Brown’s first field goal, Baylor would miss their next five shots and go three for twelve (25%) before the under twelve minute timeout. Possessions ended quickly, as Baylor couldn’t grab a single offensive rebound and turned the ball over three times.

In the same time frame, Kansas went on 12-0 and 9-0 runs. The Jayhawks shot well — 53% from the field — and they were aided by horrible transition defense from Baylor. Kansas also dominated the glass with 4 offensive rebounds and 9 defensive rebounds.

Following the second media timeout, Matthew Mayer helped Baylor try to claw back. He scored five points and picked up a charge within a few minutes, and Kansas got called for their first foul! Baylor trailed 27-13 going into the under eight media timeout.

Unfortunately, it didn’t get much better than that for the remainder of the half. Baylor would miss eight shots in a row and only score three more times from the field. At a few points, Baylor trailed by 20, their largest deficit of the season (so far).

Kansas led 39 to 21 at halftime. Baylor’s offensive woes were obvious from every corner of the box score. Poor shooting from the field (26%) and from three (14%), seven turnovers (leading to ten KU points), and below average offensive rebounding (29% oreb%) all contributed to the Bears’ lowest point total in any half this season.

Even though LJ Cryer didn’t play, he had as many points as guards James Akinjo, Dale Bonner, and Adam Flager combined.

Fortunately, Kansas started missing shots, too, otherwise the halftime lead would have been even larger. The Jayhawks shot a below-average (for KU) 46% from the field and 27% from deep. They also had five turnovers, but Baylor couldn’t score any points off of them.

Second Half

The second half started off with a Baylor foul. And another. And another. The Bears were called for four fouls in the first two minutes and eight fouls in the first four minutes. For comparison, Baylor didn’t reach the bonus until the benches were emptied in the final minutes.

At the 17:10 mark, Matthew Mayer was called for a charge after losing control of the ball (read: getting fouled by two different Jayhawks). The seemingly unequal treatment by the referees caused Scott Drew to rush onto the court and get hit with a technical as he yelled in the face of Kipp Kissinger.

By the first media timeout, Kansas’ lead had grown by two, but it felt like Baylor might be able to make the game competitive. Nine of KU’s thirteen points came from the charity stripe, and Adam Flagler had finally found his shot. Flagler scored nine of Baylor’s first eleven points of the second half, and he would end the game with a team-high sixteen points.

Over the next eleven minutes, Kansas snuffed out any hope of a Baylor comeback. The Jayhawks made nine of their first ten shots after the first media timeout and ten of fourteen in this span. Baylor missed shot after shot near the rim, going five for nineteen from the field. At the 3:43 mark, Kansas led by 34.

Kansas emptied their bench at 2:48, up 79-47. They would only score once more, and Baylor would close the game on an 8-0 run in the final 35 seconds.

Overall, Baylor shot a disappointing 30% from the field and 26% from behind the arc. Kansas made 52% from the field and 25% from three. Outside of Flager’s second half, Baylor’s guards did not have a good showing. Akinjo ended the game 0-11 from the field, and Dale Bonner didn’t score until 3:26.

One game doesn’t define a season, and Baylor has a chance to get revenge later this month. Mark February 26 on your calendars and make plans to cheer on the Bears at the Ferrell Center.