Originally published February 9, 2008 at 04:34p.m., updated February 9, 2008 at 09:14p.m.
Final, KU wins 100-90
While the backcourt defense wasn't in lockdown mode against Baylor, the Jayhawk's ballhandlers were able to get it going on the offensive end when need be Saturday night, ousting its scrappy visitors 100-90 in Allen Fieldhouse.
Darrell Arthur led KU with 23 points, including 16 in the second half, as KU went without a three-pointer made for the first time this season.
In all, five Jayhawks scored in double figures. Russell Robinson was 14-of-15 from the free throw line en route to scoring 22, while Sherron Collins scored 17 and dished four assists.
Both were integral in keying huge KU runs. In the first half, KU trailed 20-13 when Robinson came in from the bench and scored nine points in the half, including several during a key 14-3 run which he paced.
Sherron Collins led a quick three-bucket run in which he had two acrobatic layups and a winged bounce pass downcourt to Brandon Rush for a finger roll. That spurt helped the Jayhawks gain all the scoreboard separation it needed.
Darnell and Mario Chalmers each scored 10 for KU. Chalmers also had seven assists and five rebounds to his credit.
Baylor's Curtis Jerrells led all scorers with 30 points, while freshman teammate LaceDarius Dunn scored 23 and Henry Dugat 15.
KU (23-1 overall, 8-1 Big 12) travels to the Lonestar State Monday night for an 8 p.m. tip in Austin against 12th-ranked Texas, who defeated Iowa State in overtime Saturday afternoon.
3:54, second half, KU leads 81-66
After Darrell Arthur hit a pair of free throws for KU, Aaron Bruce did the same for Baylor, keeping the Bears within eight points of the Jayhawks. Though the foul that sent Bruce to the line was the fourth of the night on Brandon Rush, bringing Sherron Collins back in after a very brief breather.
Arthur gave himself 20 points on the night after Bruce then missed the front end of a one-and-one, hitting a lengthy baseline jumper. Henry Dugat came back to slip in two in traffic, giving him 15 points and 11 in the second half.
Darrell Arthur continued to be KU's offensive rock, again going to the line and hitting a pair. Curtis Jerrells scored two very tough points inside for Baylor in response, but Russell Robinson then answered with a pull-up jumper to give him 13 points so far.
Russell Robinson then hit two more free throws, giving him 15 points, and after a LaceDarius Dunn miss, Darnell Jackson shut the door on Baylor with a huge two-handed dunk on a feed from Sherron Collins, putting KU up 81-66 with less than four minutes to play.
7:32, second half, KU leads 67-59
Kevin Rogers scored two more inside after Sherron Collins hit a free throw out of the timeout.
Sasha Kaun then drew some contact in the paint on his way up with the ball. His solid free throw shooting of late continued, as he sunk both to put KU back up by five points.
Curtis Jerrells was called for a charge after hitting his next layup, waving off the basket and keeping him with just two second half points. Darrell Arthur then hit another short jumper. Aaron Bruce's first points of the game were Baylor's response, keeping the Bears within five.
Darnell Jackson then hit a pair of free throws to push KU's lead even further at 61-54. Jerrells worked it back down to five with a jumper from the elbow. Josh Lomers had a chance to make it a three-point game but was swatted away by Arthur. Sherron Collins then pushed it back up to seven in transition, and after a Jerrells three miss, Collins fired a side-armed bounce pass to Brandon Rush, who soared in for an easy finger roll, giving KU its biggest lead yet at 65-56.
Even a 30-second timeout by Baylor couldn't slow Collins, who then scored again, giving him 11 points. Aaron Bruce hit a three for Baylor to make it an eight-point game before another media timeout.
11:54, second half, KU leads 54-50
Henry Dugat hit a pair of free throws out of the timeout, and then Mamadou Diene grabbed a defensive rebound off a Brandon Rush miss, giving Baylor a chance to close in further. Kevin Rogers rebounded a Dugat miss and put it back in to pull Baylor within two at 48-46.
Darrell Arthur slipped in two off a baseline jumper in response, giving him a team-high 14 points, but LaceDarius Dunn took a big bite out of that deficit with a three atop the key while getting fouled by Brandon Rush. His free throw tied it up in one fail swoop.
Mario Chalmers put KU back up top by finishing off a pass from Darnell Jackson inside with an uncontested layup. Dunn missed a three on the other end over Sasha Kaun, but the scramble for the rebound gave possession to Baylor with Scott Drew calling a 30-second timeout in the process.
Sherron Collins took the KU possession the other way and hit a layup in traffic, drawing contact going into another full timeout.
14:49, second half, KU leads 48-42
Russell Robinson recorded his first steal of the night off of Curtis Jerrells' inbound pass to start the second half. Darrell Arthur wound up grabbing an offensive board and putting in two inside while drawing contact. His free throw gave KU a six-point lead - its biggest yet - and the sophomore big man 10 points.
Arthur then came down on the other end and swatted a shot from the paint out to press row.
Aaron Bruce again tried to cash a three for Baylor against a dwindling shot clock, but came up short. Henry Dugat pulled down the offensive board and scored on a mid-range jumper shortly thereafter.
Mario Chalmers made one of two free throws on the other end after drawing the fourth foul of the game on Josh Lomers, but Robinson quickly thundered down for two of his own in the paint, giving him a team-high 11.
Chalmers then brought the crowd to its feet in transition with a huge two-handed slam in transition off a Brandon Rush feed to put KU up 44-37. That forced Baylor into a full timeout.
Dugat hit a running floater out of the break to give himself eight points, and that was followed by a Brandon Rush three miss, making KU 0-for-8 from long range.
Darrell Arthur came back to score again after an empty Baylor possession with two off a drive, slipping it in high off the glass. Henry Dugat answered with a three - his first of the game - keeping Baylor within four. Sasha Kaun then scored on a quick turnaround inside to make it a six-point game.
Dugat was fouled going to the hole, leading to a full timeout.
Halftime, KU leads 36-33
Curtis Jerrells did the honor in scoring the first points out of the break inside off the glass. Cole Aldrich was able to respond for KU with his first points of the game coming off the window as well off a nice spin move. Jerrells answered back after Russell Robinson was swatted, giving Jerrells a game-high 17 points. Sherron Collins then scored his second bucket of the night on a mid-range jumper.
Brandon Rush then put the Jayhawks ahead and drew a foul in transition after a Jerrells turnover, bobbling the ball on his way up and eventually putting it off the glass. He hit the free throw, giving him seven points and KU a three-point lead with less than a minute to play.
Curtis Jerrells' final shot before the buzzer wasn't close, and KU took a 36-33 lead into the halftime locker room. Jerrells led all scorers in the first half with 17 points, while Russell Robinson led KU with nine. Brandon Rush had seven.
KU didn't hit a single three-pointer, while Baylor shot at a 36-percent clip from deep. The two teams each grabbed 18 boards, while eight blocked shots by Baylor were a big equalizer.
3:33, first half, game tied 29-29
Rodrick Stewart picked up a loose ball on Baylor's possession out of the timeout and drew a whistle in transition after getting swatted by Mark Shepherd. He hit one of two free throws to tie the game before heading to the bench.
Aaron Bruce - still scoreless - missed a three after the Stewart charity, and Russell Robinson again drew a bonus trip to the line in response. He hit both to put KU ahead 25-23.
Darnell Jackson added to the KU spurt after a miscommunication between the Baylor guards produced another turnover. In transition, Jackson kept it for himself and put away a nifty layin, making it a 14-3 KU run.
Jerrells came back into the game for Bruce and hit his third three of the game to again pull Baylor to within a point at 27-26.
LaceDarius Dunn put Baylor back ahead by two with his second trey of the game Darrell Arthur then took down an offensive rebound on the other end and hit a short jumper to tie it, 29-29.
7:28, first half, Baylor leads 23-22
LaceDarius Dunn swished a three for Baylor out of the timeout, and Mamadou Diene swatted another KU shot, this time against Sasha Kaun, on the way down do defend. Baylor turned it over afterward, but Sasha Kaun was whistled on the other end for offensive goaltending.
Curtis Jerrells then swished another Baylor three after taking a defensive rebound away from Sasha Kaun, pushing Baylor's lead to seven points at 20-13.
Baylor called a 30-second break then after Russell Robinson hit a mid-range jumper, then Sasha Kaun spun off a screen and took an entry pass high for a two-handed slam to close KU's deficit to three points.
Russell Robinson went inside and put two in from up close, drawing contact in the process. His free throw tied the game at 20-20 and made it a 7-0 KU run. Jerrells answered right back with his second three of the game, giving him 10 points.
Jerrells fouled Russell Robinson on the other end away from the shot. Robinson stepped to the line in the bonus and hit two free throws.
Jerrells missed a three look on the other end. Russell Robinson then missed one too, but Rodrick Stewart hustled for an offensive board. Stewart was soon after called for a walk.
11:25, first half, Baylor leads 14-13
Sherron Collins worked his way inside for two right out of the full break, and Aaron Bruce then threw the ball away for Baylor after slashing hard into traffic. Darrell Arthur's first points pulled KU to within two points at 10-8 on a turnaround jumper on the block.
Mamadou Diene extended the lead back to four, grabbing yet another Baylor offensive board and sticking it back. Arthur was fouled on the other end and hit one of two free throws.
Curtis Jerrells then cashed a pair of charities after being fouled in transition by Mario Chalmers off a Sherron Collins turnover. Darrell Arthur was then blocked on the other end, but after a Kevin Rogers airball, Brandon Rush hit a running two in transition to pull KU within three at 14-11.
Darrell Arthur finally broke the boredome for the KU offense by slamming home a Mario Chlamers lob. Then, Brandon Rush grabbed his second straight defensive board, but the Jayhawks couldn't capitalize on the other end.
15:52, first half, Baylor leads 10-4
KU controlled the game's opening tip, and Brandon Rush went right to work while backing down Aaron Bruce with two points in close. Kevin Rogers scored for Baylor on the other end, going head-to-head against his high school teammate, Darrell Arthur.
Rogers then blocked an Arthur offering inside and Curtis Jerrells put away two in transition. Then, after a KU travel call, Josh Lomers scored two inside for Baylor after grabbing a Henry Dugat miss.
Darnell Jackson was fouled by Lomers on the other end and hit a pir of free throws to pull KU back within two, and KU had a chance to take the lead with a Brandon Rush three after a Baylor turnover. Rush was off and Baylor took it back the other way.
Rush missed another three look after the Jayhawks were granted possession becuse of a moving screen on Rogers. Henry Dugat put the Bears ahead after another Baylor offensive board. KU then turned it over on an entry pass, giving it back to Baylor.
Dugat scored again after Bill Self subbed in Sasha Kaun and Sherron Collins, this time forcing the Jayhawks to take a 30-second timeout.
Sasha Kaun was swatted by Mamadou Diene on the first possession out of the timeout, but a Baylor turnover took the game into its first full break.
It's not that they've been bad defensively, but Kansas head coach Bill Self just thinks his talented set of guards hasn't defended to its potential of late.
No more time for that. Not with a fledgling Baylor ball club (17-4 overall, 5-2 Big 12) coming to Allen Fieldhouse tonight. The Bears feature one of the top three backcourts in the league, and in terms of depth are pretty close to what KU offers.
Baylor - led by coach Scott Drew - comes to Lawrence with five players scoring in double figures on average. One name Jayhawk fans will be familiar with is that of senior Aaron Bruce, who averages 10.7 points a night on 44-percent shooting. The leader for the Bears' backcourt in terms of production is Curtis Jerrells. The Austin native averages 14.4 points per game and leads Baylor with 75 assists in 21 games.
The x-factor in all of this backcourt hype could be the play of the two frontcourts. On paper, KU appears to have the advantage when foul trouble isn't coming into play. Baylor's big name in the post is a former high school teammate of KU sophomore Darrell Arthur - Kevin Rogers. The junior is averaging a double-double (13.6 points, 10.1 rebounds) in seven Big 12 games so far.
Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m., roughly 48 hours before KU takes on Big 12's other highly-touted backcourt - Texas - in Austin at 8 p.m. Monday night.