The Jayhawks held on to beat the Baylor Bears, 73-68, in Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
The Bears upset bid just slipped through their hands. Literally.
Down 71-68 with the shot clock turned off, the Bears failed to take a potential game-tying shot as junior forward Johnathan Motley’s pass skipped off junior guard Manu Lecomte’s hands with just 1.3 seconds remaining.
The loss puts the Bears (20-2, 7-2 in Big 12) at 0-15 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, and a game behind the Jayhawks in conference play.
Kansas (20-2, 8-1 in Big 12) struggled early, taking a 34-28 deficit into the half. KU flipped the momentum early in the second half with a 14-0 run. Frank Mason contributed six points while junior guard Svi Mykhailiuk nailed two three-point baskets during the run.
Senior guard Frank Mason maintained his league-leading scoring output with 19 points in the game. Mason did most of his work from the free-throw line, finishing 12-for-12 at the charity stripe. Mason hit one three-pointer, extending his streak to 20 straight games with a made three.
Freshman guard Josh Jackson stepped up for the Jayhawks, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 boards to notch his sixth double-double of the season. Jackson hit 2-for-4 from three, improving to 40 percent from deep during Big 12 play.
Junior guard Devonte’ Graham added 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field. Mykhailiuk finished with 11 on 3-for-5 shooting from deep. Senior forward Landen Lucas finished with 5 points and 11 rebounds, his 18th 10+ rebound game in his KU career.
Lecomte and Motley each scored 16 points to lead the Bears. Motley added 10 rebounds for his 9th double-double of the season.
Player of the Game
Jackson continues to improve doing his freshman campaign. No moment seems too big, as he proved in the form of a double-double with first place on the line at a key point in the season for the Jayhawks. The only real hole in his game was reckless shots from deep, but now those shots are going in at an effective clip.
Stat of the Game:
Baylor led 26 to 24 in points in the paint. In this case, Baylor lost despite winning a key category. The Bears needed to dominate this particular statistic with the Jayhawks forced to play Coleby and Lightfoot significant minutes in the absence of Carlton Bragg. Instead, it was fairly even, while KU got to the line much more often. That was the difference in this game.
KU will face the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.