No. 8 MBB blown out by No. 10 Kansas in battle for first place in Big 12

Senior guard James Akinjo had a tough night against Kansas on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan., going 0-for-11 shooting and finished the game scoreless. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

No. 8 Baylor was blown out by No. 10 Kansas 83-59 in a battle for first place in the Big 12 on Saturday at the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. The loss broke the Bears’ nine-game win streak against top-10 opponents.

Baylor (19-4, 7-3 Big 12) struggled on both ends of the floor, specifically the offensive side. The Bears finished the game shooting 29.6% (21-71) from the field, including 25.9% (7-27) from three. Baylor also failed to take care of the ball, committing 14 turnovers. They allowed Kansas (19-3, 8-1 Big-12) to shoot 51.6% from the field and convert 20 second-chance points.

Sophomore guard and leading scorer, LJ Cryer, missed his third-straight game with a foot injury. Junior guard Adam Flagler returned from injury and led the team in points with 16 and four steals.

Following Flagler was freshman forward Kendall Brown with 12 points to go along with eight rebounds. Senior guard James Akinjo had a tough night, going 0-for-11 shooting and finished the game scoreless.

The first half was rough for the Bears, they got little to nothing going on either end of the floor. The offense felt stagnant and there was a lack of ball movement. Baylor ended the half shooting 8-of-31 from the field and started off missing 15 of their first 20 shots. They got down big early on and spent most of the first half down by over double digits. The Bears went into the break down 18, 39-21.

Brown led Baylor with seven points and five rebounds at the break. Akinjo and Flagler were shut out in the first half, shooting a combined 0-of-12. Baylor turned the ball over seven times in the first half and had difficulty knocking down a three, shooting 2-of-14 for just 14.3% from beyond the arc. Kansas had more points in the paint (28) than Baylor did in the entire first half.

The frustration came out early in the second half. Baylor was assessed a technical foul as head coach Scott Drew disagreed with a call and got in the face of an official. The second half continued as the first ended, with eight minutes to play Kansas took a 30-point lead 73-42. The Jayhawks held off Baylor till the buzzer, winning 83-59, the biggest loss of the year for the defending champions.

Up next, the Bears will stay in Kansas for their matchup with Kansas State University at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.