By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
Baylor men’s basketball fell to No. 7-ranked Kansas 73-68 Saturday afternoon at the Ferrell Center despite a 20-5 run late in the second half.
The Bears (9-6) couldn’t muster up enough offense late in the game to take down the Jayhawks (14-2), who didn’t make a field goal in the final six minutes of the game.
Just a few days after shooting 44 percent from the field to defeat the No. 20-ranked Iowa State Cyclones, the Bears came up flat on offense. Baylor shot just 33 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range in the loss to the Jayhawks.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew announced moments before the game that sophomore forward Tristan Clark would miss the remainder of the season with a left knee injury. Sophomore forward Mark Vital said Clark will be sorely missed on the court, but that doesn’t stop him from being a good teammate on the sidelines.
“When I found out, that’s my brother, so it hurt a lot,” Vital said. “Before the game, Tristan motivated us. He told us what we needed to do.”
The Baylor offense started 0-for-12 from the field as Kansas jumped out to a 12-2 lead at the 12:00 mark of the first half.
The Jayhawks continued to dominate the first half as freshman guard Ochai Agbaji throwing down an alley-oop dunk to make it an 18-2 lead and prompt Drew to call a timeout.
The Bears made a run out of the timeout. Sophomore forward Mark Vital scored on a put-back, freshman forward Matthew Mayer hammered home a dunk in transition and freshman guard Jared Butler knocked down a corner 3-pointer to cut the lead to 18-9 with 7:54 remaining in the first half.
Butler drained back-to-back 3-pointers to chip the Kansas lead to just three, and senior guard Makai Mason knocked down a free throw to cut it to two, but that’s the closest the Bears would get in the first half. The Jayhawks ended the half on a 13-5 run to take a 35-25 lead into the break.
The Jayhawks controlled the pace early in the second half, extending their lead to 55-39 at the under-12 media timeout. Baylor trailed 68-48 with three minutes left when Kansas sent in their substitutes.
Three-pointers from Butler and junior guard Devonte Bandoo sparked a late 20-5 run. Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes and junior forward Dedric Lawson knocked down 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute as the Bears’ run proved to be too little too late.
Rebounding kept the Bears in the game. Baylor out-rebounded Kansas 49-30 overall and 26-4 on the offensive glass. Drew said while the offensive execution wasn’t there, the effort showed in the rebounding numbers.
“I was really proud and pleased with our effort,” Drew said. “Any time you out-rebound a Kansas team like we did, you know our guys played hard. The execution wasn’t as good as any of us would have liked, but considering we had to put some new stuff in in the last day, I was pleased with the effort the guys gave.”
The Bears look to bounce back when they face Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. Monday in Stillwater, Oklahoma.