For the first time in awhile, the Kansas men’s basketball team was not playing for a league title in the final weekend of the season.
That didn’t stop No. 13 KU from taking care of business with a 78-70 win over Baylor Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. With the win in the regular-season finale, the Jayhawks (23-8, 12-6 Big 12) finished undefeated at home with a 17-0 clip in Allen Fieldhouse.
It is the 20th time Kansas has went undefeated at home, and first time since going 16-0 during the 2015-16 season. The Jayhawks have also won 36 consecutive regular-season home finales, which began in the 1983-84 season. Baylor (19-12, 10-8) is now 0-16 against KU in Allen Fieldhouse in program history.
Dedric Lawson led the way with 23 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Devon Dotson and David McCormack finished with 15 points and 12 points, respectively. Baylor was led by Jared Butler, who finished with 31 points on 10-of-21 shooting.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: After a tightly-contest first half, KU created some breathing room with a strong start to the second half.
The Jayhawks scored the first eight points after the intermission to take a 40-29 lead with 17:13 left in the game. McCormack got things going with a hard-earned bucket in the post, while freshman Devon Dotson netted a layup shortly after that.
View a gallery of images from Saturday's game between the Jayhawks and Bears at Allen Fieldhouse.
Dedric Lawson, who scored just six points in the first half, then notched a pair of buckets in a 50-second stretch to give the Jayhawks a double-digit advantage. The game was never in doubt after that.
• Offensive highlight: A pair of first-half dunks by Kansas brought a nice roar of approval from the fans in Allen Fieldhouse.
With 18:11 left in the first half, McCormack scored KU’s first points with a ferocious slam. The dunk came off a nifty touch pass from fellow freshman Ochai Agabai, in which McCormack threw the dunk down with authority. McCormack stared down the Baylor defender down, which warranted a warning from the official.
Later in the first half, Agbaji did the honors of notching KU’s second dunk of the afternoon. Freshman Quentin Grimes fired a pass from the perimeter just as Agabji cut backdoor. Agabji completed the sequence off with a slam, giving Kansa a 24-21 advantage at the 6:41 mark.
• Defensive highlight: The key to Kansas claiming a 32-29 lead at the halftime was its efforts at limiting Baylor from long range.
The Bears missed their first nine attempts from long range. Their first 3-pointer didn’t come until the 5:34 mark in the first half. Baylor hit just two triples the entire first half, firing up a total of 15 attempts. For the game, the Bears went 6-for-31 from long range.
It was meaningful given how much success BU has had from 3-point land during the conference action. Entering Saturday, Baylor was shooting as Big-12 leading 38.7 percent from downtown during league games.
•Up next: Kansas will compete in the Big 12 tournament next week.