Kansas Jayhawks guard Naadir Tharpe (10) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas Jayhawks Keep Baylor Bears At Arm’s Length In Win


Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

 

 

The Kansas Jayhawks (17-5, 8-1) bounced back from their first conference loss to defeat the Baylor Bears (14-8, 2-7) on the road. Kansas won 69-52 despite Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Wayne Selden Jr., having off scoring nights.

The Jayhawks played scrappy defense, especially in the second half, and out rebounded Baylor 46-31 for one of their tougher wins on the season. The most experienced players the Jayhawks picked up the slack for the freshmen as Naadir Tharpe had a fine game, scoring 22 points, pulling down 5 rebounds, and dishing out 4 assists.

Perry Ellis had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Tarik Black made a nice contribution off the bench with 6 points and 9 rebounds.

Seldon only scored 4 points but had 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Embiid, hindered by foul trouble most of the game, didn’t score his 4 points until late in the contest but did record 7 caroms.

Andrew Wiggins struggled for most of the game but he hit a half court plus 3-pointer at the half time buzzer. With nine and a half minutes to go though, and Kansas leading 49-44, Wiggins hit a three, and went on to score 7 straight points for the Jayhawks, stretching the lead to 56-44. Kansas was never threatened again.

Wiggins, despite hitting just 4 of 13 shots, scored 14, had 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 0 turnovers.

Corey Jefferson paced the Bears with 14 points, and Brady Heslip added 12. Baylor’s most effective all around player was Rico Gathers, who netted 9 points and 8 rebounds.

All of Heslip’s points came in the first half on 4 three-pointers. Kansas had trouble keeping up with him early, but shut him down completely after he hit his fourth shot from behind the arc with 6:38 to go in the first half.

The Kansas players displayed some of their best efforts of the season defensively, and Baylor missed several shots within a couple of feet. The Bears shot just 29.1 percent for the game.

The Jayhawks showed good effort on defense, even when things weren’t going very smoothly on offense.  Kansas hitt just 46.3% of their field goal attempts but it was good enough for the victory.

Kansas was not really threatened too much once they shut down Heslip. Wiggins’ half time buzzer beater, which stretched a 7-point lead to a 10-margin, probably caused Baylor some discouragement. The Jayhawks kept the Bears at arm’s length most of the game, and didn’t really give Baylor much hope they could win.

This was a very blue collar performance but it was nice to see improved defense after a listless all around performance against Texas their last time out. The Jayhawks hit the boards hard, hustled after loose balls, and played about as tough as they can.

Winning a game on the road when some of their top scorers had off nights, and winning relatively easily, was very encouraging.

The Kansas Jayhawks will return home to face the West Virginia Mountaineers (13-9, 5-4) for the first time this season. The game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. CST tip-off in Allen Fieldhouse.

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Tags: Andrew Wiggins Kansas Jayhawks Naadir Tharpe