Bears’ second-half comeback falls flat against Jayhawks

Associated Press
Kansas forward Marcus Morris, left, prepares to shoot past the defense of Baylor's Anthony Jones (41) in the first half of Monday's game in Waco.

By Chris Derrett
Sports Editor

As three Baylor players took their seats on the podium for the postgame press conference following the Bears’ matchup with Kansas, coach Scott Drew entered the room and said he would try make the press conference as succinct as possible.

“We’ve got a lot of film to watch,” Drew said.

The Bears could not overcome the duo of Marcus and Markieff Morris and fell, 85-65, in front of a sellout Ferrell Center crowd on ESPN Monday night. Monday’s crowd of 10,596 set a Ferrell Center record for any event.

The Morrises combined for 42 points on 19 of 24 shooting, while Perry Jones III scored 20 to lead the Bears.

The Jayhawks led 53-32 at halftime behind a 23 of 29 (79 percent) shooting effort. Six of those missed shots were offensively rebounded, leading to eight second chance points.

“I think we were all embarrassed for our first half performance and have got to give Kansas a lot of credit for coming out and punching us in the face,” Drew said.

Baylor’s only semblance of a second half comeback ended abruptly after Anthony Jones converted an alley oop layup to cut the lead to 61-49.

Sophomore A.J. Walton forced the turnover his team was looking for and tried to hit senior LaceDarius Dunn for a fast break alley oop. But the pass did not connect, and Kansas turned the ensuing possession into a fast break layup.

The Jayhawk layup zapped any remaining energy from the Ferrell Center as part of a 12-5 run that put an exclamation point on the shellacking.

“It was a bad decision on my end, seeing Lace and Perry running. Just bad communication on my part,” Walton said.

Walton committed seven of the Bears’ 18 total turnovers, just one of the many phases in which Kansas prevailed.

The Jayhawks hauled in 27 rebounds, 14 from the Morris brothers, to Baylor’s 19. They scored 18 second chance points and notched 24 off turnovers.

It might have been a rough night for the home crowd, but the 35 NBA scouts in the building saw exactly what they wanted. In addition to the Morris brothers and standout freshman guard Josh Selby, Jones III had garnered attention for both his impressive high school resume and recent Big 12 performances.

Jones III faced his greatest challenge in the post yet, against the Morrises, and finished 6 of 11 from the field. He hauled in just two rebounds, however.

“I feel like I wasn’t aggressive enough. There was a lot more I could have done to help my team out,” Jones III said.

The Bears have an entire week to regroup before facing Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Ferrell Center.