LAWRENCE — The 2022-23 regular season of Kansas men’s basketball continued Saturday with a Big 12 Conference game at home against Baylor.
The Jayhawks No. 7 came in after a road win against Oklahoma State. The No. 9 Bears entered after a home win against West Virginia. It’s the second time Kansas and Baylor have faced each other this season.
Was head coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks team able to avoid a regular season sweep at the hands of the Bears? Was Scott Drew’s Baylor team able to get a rare win inside Allen Fieldhouse? Kansas had a win the last time these two teams played in Lawrence.
Here’s what happened:
FINAL: Kansas 87, Baylor 71
Kansas leads 80-67 against Baylor with 2:37 left in the 2nd half
This game is effectively over. Kansas leads by 13 points with just over two and a half minutes left. Even though Baylor has managed to regain some momentum, there isn’t enough time for the Bears to come back and beat the Jayhawks.
Kansas is not too far from having all five starters in double digits. Kevin McCullar Jr. is four points adrift, with six for the game so far. And everyone’s MVP has to be Dajuan Harris Jr.
Kansas leads 66-58 against Baylor with 7:48 left in the 2nd half
The Jayhawks haven’t scored in about two and a half minutes and still lead by eight points with just under eight minutes left in regulation. It’s emblematic of a second half that’s only gone for Kansas, really. After trailing this game by as many as 17 points, they led by as many as 12 points in the second half.
Jalen Wilson has a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He and KJ Adams Jr. were the emotional leaders of the Jayhawks on the court today. And they are certainly doing a good job.
Kansas leads 59-54 against Baylor with 11:50 left in the 2nd half
Dajuan Harris Jr. is up within 10 points for Kansas, and all those points have come in the second half. He is now close to double-double, as he also has eight assists. As well as he has played this season, it hasn’t been a common occurrence.
So far in the second half, Kansas outscored Baylor 27-9. The Jayhawks are shooting better than 60% from the field, while the Bears are under 40%. And Bill Self and the Kansas bench are thrilled.
Kansas leads 50-49 against Baylor with 14:28 left in the 2nd half
With a triple by Gradey Dick, Kansas now took the lead back from Baylor. That leads to another Bears timeout. And the Jayhawks continue to have a stranglehold on momentum in this one.
Dick didn’t shoot the ball very well in this one, but he has up to 12 points. Dajuan Harris Jr. was much more effective on offense in the second half, after not scoring much in the first half. And those are just two areas where things are looking better for Kansas in the second half.
Baylor leads 47-42 against Kansas with 15:55 left in the 2nd half
Kansas went on a 10-0 run early in the second half. Baylor ended it recently with a pair of free throws. And the Bears bench doesn’t look as secure as it did when Baylor led the Jayhawks big in the first half.
Kansas doesn’t necessarily turn it on, shooting the ball, in the second half. But the Bears still haven’t hit a field goal since coming out of halftime. And the Jayhawks supplemented their effort with some free throws.
Baylor leads 45-38 against Kansas with 18:39 left in the 2nd half
The Jayhawks are on a 6-0 run going into the second half, and that led to a timeout for the Bears. With 18:39 left in the second half, Baylor’s lead over Kansas is just 45-38, so seven points after it was 13 points at halftime. And Allen Fieldhouse is dancing as fans return to this game.
There was a look of desperation on Scott Drew’s face when he called that timeout. Kansas has all the momentum. Baylor has to answer.
INTERMEDIATE: Baylor 45, Kansas 32
Baylor leads 39-23 against Kansas with 3:32 left in the first half
The situation is starting to worsen, as Baylor’s lead jumped to 16 points with about three-and-a-half minutes left in the first half. Keyonte George has made some really tough buckets for the Bears. The Kansas Jayhawks are still looking for something to build momentum from, as they are missing out on a number of easy opportunities on offense as well.
Right now, Baylor is 8-of-11 on 3 and Kansas is 1-of-11. Baylor has 20 rebounds to Kansas’ 9. And those are just two of several areas where the Bears lead.
Some former Kansas stars are here
Baylor leads 28-21 against Kansas with 7:20 left in the first half
The only three players to score right now for Baylor were from their star backcourt, namely Keyonte George, LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler. And for a while, Cryer and Flagler were the only ones to score. Cryer and Flagler both have 11 points, while George has six.
Kansas has a free throw lead right now, but Baylor is shooting well enough from the field that it doesn’t really matter. What really hurts the Jayhawks is that they are 1 for 9 for 3 while the Bears are 5 for 7. This trend will not serve Kansas well.
Baylor leads 20-14 against Kansas with 11:56 left in the first half
Baylor hit a couple of 3s recently, and after the last Bill Self called a timeout for Kansas. The Jayhawks trail the Bears 20-14 with 11:56 left in the first half. Baylor is up 6-0.
Something to keep looking at, is the fact that the Bears have six second chance points right now and the Jayhawks have none. Kansas had some success on offense, but Baylor was able to make up for some of his mistakes there. And that’s not something the Jayhawks can afford to continue.
Kansas leads 9-7 against Baylor with 15:44 left in the first half
Gradey Dick just had a couple of consecutive big plays, hitting a triple on one side and then forcing a turnover on the other. This put the Jayhawks up 9-7 with 15:44 remaining in the first half, with possession of the basketball even after this break. Dick already has five points to lead Kansas.
On the other hand, Adam Flagler has all seven points for Baylor. The Jayhawks will have to do more to slow him down. He’s a perfect 3-of-3 from the field, with a mark on his only free throw attempt.
The game has begun
Looks like the tip will be a little later than expected
Here are the appetizers
No surprises who’s available for Kansas
Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas athletics at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He is the National Sports Media Association Sportswriter of the Year for the state of Kansas for 2022. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.