Down by as many as eight points on the road in the second half and getting out-manned on the boards much of the night, Kansas found enough inner toughness in crunch time Tuesday night to recover for a 66-60 win at Baylor’s Ferrell Center.
KU junior guard Frank Mason III scored eight of his team-high 19 points in the second half to help the Jayhawks (24-4 overall, 12-3 Big 12) maintain a two-game lead in the league standings over West Virginia and Oklahoma and drop Baylor (20-8, 9-6) to three games back.
The Jayhawks held the Bears to 28.6-percent shooting in the second half and finally started securing some defensive rebounds late, despite Baylor getting to 20 offensive boards on the night.
Kansas made 8 of 19 from 3-point range, led by Devonté Graham’s 3-for-7 night, and the visitors shot 50 percent from the floor overall, helping to offset the Bears’ 14 second-chance points.
View a gallery of images from Tuesday night's game between the Jayhawks and Bears at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: Landen Lucas snagged an offensive rebound on a Wayne Selden Jr. missed 3-pointer with 3:07 left. Before that, the Bears and Jayhawks kept trading jabs in a game that featured 8 ties and 17 lead changes. Lucas came up with 5 offensive rebounds (10 total) in the victory and his put-back on that Selden miss gave KU the lead for good.
• Offensive highlight: The way this one went KU had to get a bucket out of a timeout with just more than a minute and a half to play, and the Bears within a point. So what did Bill Self draw up? A lob for Selden, who threw down a perfect pass from Graham, giving Kansas a 60-57 advantage with 1:27 left.
• Defensive highlight: It certainly wasn’t flashy, but Lucas came up with a timely steal in the paint with the game tied at 55. His good hands showed up again on the ensuing offensive possession, with his aforementioned put-back.
• Key stat: Field-goal percentage. This was the only area where KU held a clear advantage. The Jayhawks’ ability to shoot 50 percent to Baylor’s 36 percent gave them a chance to stay in the game, when BU won the rebound battle 33-28.
• Up next: KU returns to Allen Fieldhouse for an 11 a.m. Saturday tip versus surging Texas Tech. A win in that one would assure the Jayhawks of at least a share of their 12th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title.
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