LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — DaJuan Harris scored all 14 points in the second half as No. 5 Kansas stormed back from a double-digit halftime deficit to beat No. 9 Baylor 87-71 on Saturday.
The Jayhawks (22-5, 10-4 Big 12) outscored the Bears 55-26 in the second half.
“That’s Harris and (Kevin) McCullar,” said Kansas coach Bill Self when asked to describe the second-half turnaround. “The good looks (Baylor) came in the second half, they didn’t make it. In the first half, even when they got tough looks, they made it.
“Harris can take shots. He just doesn’t take many.”
Jalen Wilson led Kansas with 21 points and 13 rebounds. KJ Adams added 17 points and Gradey Dick had 16.
“We just had to take it easy,” Wilson said of the second-half surge. “It’s a long game and we will never stop.”
The Jayhawks are tied with Texas for first place in the Big 12 Conference. The Longhorns beat Oklahoma 85-83 in overtime last Saturday.
“Now you can start talking about the conference race,” Self said. “There are only four games left and we are in a good position.”
Baylor holds sole possession of third place, one game behind Kansas and Texas and one game ahead of Kansas State and Iowa State.
“This is a good game for the Big 12,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “You saw what we were capable of in the first half and what Kansas is capable of in the second half.”
Baylor (20-7, 9-5) got nearly all of its scoring from its three-guard combination of Adam Flagler (22 points) Keyonte George (20 points) and LJ Cryer (15 points). The rest of the team combined to score just 14 points.
Baylor shot 9-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half and 10-of-25 overall. Conversely, Kansas, which went just 1-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half, went 6-of-21 from long range.
The Jayhawks scored the last three points of the first half and the first 10 of the second, narrowing a 15-point deficit to 45-42 with less than 2:30 elapsed in the second half.
“As good as we were in the first half, that’s how bad we were in the second half,” said Drew. “They just killed us in transition.”
When Dick hit a 3-pointer at 14:29, Kansas stormed back to lead 50-49. The Jayhawks never trailed again and extended the lead to double digits (65-54) at 10:20 into the second half.
“You’re not going to change (momentum) by making shots,” Wilson said. “He will start by making stops. We had to be aggressive.”
The Bears led 20-14 in the second timeout average with Cryer (11 points) and Flagler (9) combining for all 20 Baylor points. Baylor used an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 33-21 with 5:07 left. George joined in the scoring, and when he hit a three-pointer with 3:54, followed by another with 3:32 left, the Bears led 39-23 with all the points coming from three guards.
Baylor led 45-32 at halftime after hitting nine 3-pointers. George led the Bears with 15 points in the first half. Flagler had 14 and Cryer had 13. Jalen Bridges had the only other three points of the half.
Baylor also held a 21-13 lead on halftime boards.
THE TAKE AWAY
Baylor: The Bears need to find other scores besides their three guards. When they went cold in the second half, the Bears had no answer.
Kansas: The Jayhawks are tough to beat at Allen Fieldhouse. With the second half getting off to a quick start, the crowd got behind the Jayhawks, who rallied.
Baylor: The Bears travel to #12 Kansas State Tuesday night.
Kansas: The Jayhawks travel to Fort Worth, Texas for a Big Monday matchup with No. 22 TCU.