Landen Lucas knocked down two critical free throws with 11.5 seconds remaining as Kansas (24-3, 12-2) defeated Baylor (22-5, 9-5) 67-65 in Waco on Saturday afternoon.
Lucas, a 59% free-throw shooter, stepped to the line in a 65-65 game and calmly shot two of the most important shots he has attempted all season. Manu Lecomte’s last-second, contested mid range shot clanked off the rim as the Jayhawks finished the game on an 8-0 run. The victory extended KU’s lead in the Big 12 race to 3 games with only 4 contests left to play.
Senior guard Frank Mason led all scorers with 23 points, including going 8-8 from the free throw line. Junior forward Johnathan Motely led Baylor with 19 points, and Manu Lecomte contributed 16 points including 4 three-pointers.
Baylor took control of the game early, but the Jayhawks responded, pulling within 6 heading into halftime. The second half turned into a slugfest with the two teams trading blows down the stretch. KU took their first lead of the game with 10 minutes remaining in the second half, but Baylor came right back. The Jayhawks rallied with some important shots late, prevailing on the road and essentially locking up a record 13th straight Big 12 title.
Down by 9 with a few seconds left before halftime, Frank Mason handed the ball to Josh Jackson for a long 3 before the half.
Manu Lecomte appeared to have injured his ankle on a fast-break with 8 minutes remaining in the game. After that, he was never the same.
With under 2 minutes to play, Frank Mason found Josh Jackson on the baseline for a dunk, swinging the momentum towards KU late.
Landen Lucas showed no fear as he easily hit two free throws to give the Jayhawks the lead for good with 8.6 seconds left.
Player of the Game
Frank Mason, the heart and soul of the Jayhawks, stepped up when needed and strengthened his player of the year candidacy with another impressive road performance.