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Monday, January 14, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Kansas 61, Baylor 44

By Jason King


LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A few quick thoughts from Kansas' 61-44 victory over Baylor on Monday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Overview: After barely escaping Iowa State and then playing poorly in a win at Texas Tech last week, Kansas returned to form Monday by embarrassing Baylor in front of 16,300 fans. The Bears looked completely inept against the Jayhawks' menacing defense. Scott Drew's squad trailed 33-20 at intermission after shooting just 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) in the opening half.

Kansas blocked 13 shots (including 10 in the first half) and led by as many as 19 points in the second half. It certainly wasn't one of the Jayhawks' better offensive games, but it didn't need to be. KU's defense was relentless from start to finish, rarely allowing the Bears -- usually a good 3-point shooting team -- a good look at the basket. Instead, Baylor's guards were forced to drive into the paint and force wild shots and passes (which were usually either blocked or stolen).

Bill Self's squad scored 11 points off Baylor's 14 turnovers. The Jayhawks also out-hustled the Bears inside, outscoring them 38-14 in the paint and 13-8 on second-chance points.

Kansas improved to 15-1 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play. Baylor fell to 11-5 and 3-1.

Key player: Along with his 17 points, Ben McLemore grabbed eight rebounds, made three steals and blocked two shots for Kansas. McLemore left the game with what appeared to be an ankle sprain with 2:44 remaining.

Kevin Young scored only four points, but he was incredibly active in the paint with seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

Isaiah Austin had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor while Pierre Jackson added 10 points and four assists. Jackson entered the game averaging 19.2 points. Ricardo Gathers played the toughest out of all the Bears with 13 rebounds (including five offensive) off the bench.

Key stat: The victory was the 101st for Kansas in its past 102 games at Allen Fieldhouse. KU has lost just once at home since 2007.

Up next: Baylor plays Hardin-Simmons in a nonconference game Saturday in Waco while Kansas travels to Austin to take on Texas, which is 0-3 in Big 12 play.