No. 4 Kansas Defeats No. 13 Baylor in Thriller

Federico Moreno | @f3demoreno


The decimeter reached nearly 125 dB in Allen Fieldhouse Saturday evening as the Kansas Jayhawks welcomed the Baylor Bears. Kansas went on to take the 64-61 victory and improve its record to 7-4 in conference play. 


Kansas got off to an early 12-4 lead as the result of some intimidating defense and forcing multiple turnovers on the Bears. The Jayhawks forced Baylor to 11 turnovers in the first half. 


The Jayhawks’ 23-10 lead in the first half would be their largest advantage before Baylor began to find their rhythm and respond with a run of their own. 


With 5:56 left in the first half, freshman guard Ja’Kobe Walker was fouled on a three-point attempt from the right corner that would give him three free-throw shots. After the play, a technical foul was issued on the Kansas bench, resulting in two additional free throws. Walter went on to make all five to cut the lead to 25-20.


Baylor headed into the half down 34-28 riding on ten points from Yves Missi and nine from Walter. For the Jayhawks, senior center Hunter Dickinson led Kansas in scoring and rebounding with 13 points and four boards. 


Kansas continued to build their lead in the second half, with some stellar shooting from senior guard Nicolas Timberlake and freshman guard Johnny Furphy. The Jayhawks had a 58-46 lead with 7:46 to go in the second half. 


NBA prospect Ja’Kobe Walter put the Bears on his back, scoring back-to-back triples and assisting on a corner three to cut the lead to 60-55 with 5:15 to go in the second half.


With just under four minutes to go, senior guard Dajuan Harris went down near the sideline facing the Jayhawks bench and was helped off the court during the media timeout. He would be taken to the locker room and returned to the court with 2:05 left. 


By the time Harris returned to the floor, the Bears had clawed their way to a single-possession deficit, down only 62-59. He proceeded to hit the next basket for Kansas, a crucial floater to put them up by five. 


Kansas had possession and a three-point lead with under 30 seconds in the game and designed a play around Timberlake finding a cutting Dickinson in the paint, but overshot the pass causing a turnover and Baylor ball with 13 seconds left. 


The Bears had two good looks to tie the game in their final two possessions with a wide-open corner triple from Jayden Nunn, followed by a missed Kansas free throw and a pull-up three as time expired from Walter in a chaotic sequence. 


Four Jayhawks finished in double-digit scoring with Hunter Dickinson leading the way with 15 points followed by 14 from Harris and 13 from junior forward KJ Adams. 


Kansas will head to Lubbock for a Big Monday encounter with Texas Tech. Tip-off is set for 8:00 on ESPN.

Photo Courtesy: Dylan Shah, UDK