Thursday, February 29, 2024

No. 4 Kansas wins 18th straight at home, 64-61 over No. 13 Baylor

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Hunter Dickinson scored 15 points to lead a balanced attack as No. 4 Kansas extended its home winning streak to 18 games with a 64-61 victory over No. 13 Baylor on Saturday night.

Baylor got the ball back with 14.2 seconds left and a chance to tie, but Jayden Nunn’s 3-point try from the corner fell short. After Nicolas Timberlake missed the front end of a one-on-one, Ja’Kobe Walter’s 3-point attempt went wide.

“I was hoping the game would be slow, and it was,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I was hoping the game would be ugly and muddy, which it was, largely because they turned it over and largely because we couldn’t make shots.”

Baylor coach Scott Drew was troubled by his team’s 21 turnovers.

“We need to do a better job,” he said. “You’ll never beat anyone with quality, let alone Kansas, with 21 turnovers. This is the area we will focus on the most when trying to improve. I’m happy to keep them at 43 percent (on the field). We win matches like that. We did a great job on the glass, 15-4 in second chance points.

“But if (Patrick) Mahomes throws six picks, (the Chiefs) won’t win tomorrow (in the Super Bowl).”

Kansas, 13-0 at home this season, played without guard Kevin McCullar, who was out with a knee injury. Timberlake made his first start for the Jayhawks. Drew is now 1-15 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas (19-5, 7-4 Big 12) got 14 points from Dajuan Harris, 13 from KJ Adams and 11 from Johnny Furphy.

Despite the victory, Self was in a irritable mood after the match.

“That’s probably the moment I’m least happy after a win, because that’s not how you play basketball,” he said.

Baylor (17-6, 6-4) was led by Yves Missi with 21 points and Walter with 17.

“He’s obviously a really good athlete,” Dickinson said of his Bears counterpart. “He runs ball screens really well. It puts a lot of pressure on a defense when you have really good guards who can stretch the court.

Kansas kept Baylor at arm’s length for most of the second half. After Baylor cut the deficit to 37-36 early in the half, the Jayhawks responded with a 6-0 run. Baylor cut the score to a one-possession game again at 44-41, but a 9-1 Kansas run opened a double-digit lead.

Baylor kept the game within reach, getting to within 3 points but couldn’t get over the hump.

The bench stepped up, with Timberlake scoring eight points.

“We were missing a lot of things with Kevin not being there,” Dickinson said. “He’s one of the best players in college basketball. But we all felt confident enough in each other to step up and make big plays. We’re at Kansas for a reason. It’s not a surprise that the guys stepped up. It’s what we expected.

Dickinson was the story of the first half. He scored 13, more than half of his team’s first 25 points. Kansas jumped out quickly, taking an 18-6 lead into the second media timeout. During that first stretch, the Jayhawks made seven of their first 10 shots.

Dickinson picked up her second foul with 2:59 left in the first half and sat out the rest of the half.

Kansas led by 13 points in the first half before Baylor cut it to 34-28 at halftime.


Houston: The Bears didn’t let the huge early deficit put them out of the game. They responded to almost every Kansas run.

Kansas: The Jayhawks need McCullar to be healthy moving forward. He leads the team with 19.5 points per game.


Baylor: The Bears return home Tuesday night for a game against Oklahoma.

Kansas: The Jayhawks will travel to Texas Tech on Monday night.


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