The two top shooting teams in the Big 12 faced off Monday night in Lawrence when Baylor visited the 4th ranked Jayhawks. However, the game turned into a one sided low scoring game that Kansas appeared to have wrapped up early in the second half.
The Jayhawks were led by freshman Ben McLemore’s 17 points (7-13 from the field), 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. McLemore once again showed off his offensive abilities as he scored in a variety of ways. Center Jeff Withey chipped in 8 points, 6 rebounds (all defensive) and 3 blocks. Guard Elijah Johnson, who seems to have really come to understand when he need to be aggressive and score for his team, scored 12 points and snagged 3 rebounds. Travis Releford wasn’t as hot from the field as he had been over his last 12 games, but his ability to be aggressive and attack got him easy points at the free throw line where he went 6-6 on the night. One of the best signs for the Jayhawks was the aggressive play by freshman Perry Ellis. Ellis scored 6 points and snagged 7 rebounds, but his aggressive nature on the offensive end of the court is a great sign for Kansas moving forward.
Kansas held Baylor to only 13 made field goals in the game and held Pierre Jackson, the Big 12′s top scorer, scoreless in the second half. The Jayhawks also shut out forward Cory Jefferson and guard Brady Heslip.
The Bears shot 23.2% (13-56) from the field for the game, 28.6% (4-14) from three and 60.9% (14-23) from the free throw line.
Kansas shot 37.7% (23-61) from the field for the game, 21.4% (3-14) from three and 75% (12-16) from the free throw line.
Kansas out-rebounded Baylor 45-40
Kansas finished the game with 10 assists to Baylor’s 6
Kansas finished the game with 14 turnovers to Baylor’s 16
Kansas outscored Baylor 38-14 in points in the paint
Baylor outscored Kansas 14-11 off turnovers
Kansas outscored Baylor 13-8 in 2nd chance points
Kansas outscored Baylor 8-7 in fast break points
Baylor outscored Kansas 12-10 in bench points
Kansas might not be playing as pretty as they were just a few weeks ago, but winning in January and still not being near your ceiling as a team isn’t a bad thing.
Kansas players Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford met with the media shortly after KU’s 61-44 win over Baylor on Monday night.