Kansas Defense Shines in Victory Over Baylor

“I would say our identity would be ‘find a way’. Just figure it out.” – Bill Self

This Kansas team keeps finding ways to win. They may not be the prettiest games, but in March, all that matters is a win. Survive and advance.

The return of junior Perry Ellis from injury was a big factor for the Jayhawks, and the return of the three-point shot wasn’t too bad either.

After hitting only one three-pointer in their last three games combined, the Jayhawks started off by knocking down the first two they took. Just like that, Kansas took a 6-0 lead.

Baylor fought back and took the lead a few times before the half, but then the Bears’ offense went stagnant. Baylor only managed two points in the last 7 minutes of the first half, and Kansas took a 26-18 lead into the intermission.

The Jayhawks went on a run coming out of halftime and led 32-18 with 17 minutes left in the game. Baylor closed the gap to 39-35 with a run of their own with just over 11 minutes remaining. Kansas used a 10-0 run led by Wayne Selden to gain a ten point lead with 5 minutes to go in the game.

The story of this game was the Jayhawks’ defense. In the first half, they held Baylor to just 32.8% shooting from the field, including allowing just two points off of free throws in the final 7 minutes before intermission. The Jayhawks forced 17 turnovers and managed to out-rebound the lengthy Bears team 39-35, even without their best rebounder, Cliff Alexander, who is still under NCAA investigation over his eligibility.

Perry Ellis checked out of the game with 7:50 left when he appered to bang his knee. He didn’t return, but Self said, “I could have put him back in, but we had the game.” Self later added, “He should be fine and there should be no problems [Saturday].”

NOTES: 

  • Selden: 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.
  • Ellis: 11 points and 6 rebounds.
  • Oubre: 9 points, and 5 rebounds.
  • Mason: 8 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
  • Lucas: 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
  • Kansas finally broke their long three point drought, hitting 3-12 for 25%.
  • Brannen Greene finally hit a three. Maybe what he needed to get back on track was to finally see one fall.
  • This Jayhawks team has become one of the best defensive teams in the nation towards the end of the season.
  • Kansas has basically locked up a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, might get a possible 1 seed if Wisconsin loses.

 

TWEETS:

Next up: Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City: Saturday vs. Iowa State, 5:00 p.m.

 

Dylan King

Staff writer for Rock Chalk Blog. http://twitter.com/_DK22