<
>

Simien helps keep Kansas unbeaten in Big 12

WACO, Texas (AP) -- While no longer undefeated, Kansas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) stayed perfect in the Big 12 with a record-breaking game.

The Jayhawks put a surprising loss to Villanova behind them in a hurry.

Wayne Simien scored seven of his 18 points in a game-opening
15-2 run, and Kansas set a school record with 16 3-pointers in an
86-66 win over Baylor on Tuesday night.

"I visibly noticed a change in attitude," Kansas coach Bill
Self said. "It was a refocused group. The whipping to Villanova
made this game a very big game, and I thought we came out and
played accordingly."

The 83-62 loss at Villanova on Saturday knocked Kansas (15-1,
5-0) from the ranks of the undefeated. The misery of their trip got
extended when they got stuck in Philadelphia an extra day because
of the weekend blizzard that hit the Northeast.

Baylor (9-7, 1-4) never got closer than seven points after the
opening spurt. And the Jayhawks kept taking advantage of a zone
defense, first going inside to Simien and then outside for the
long-range shots.

"The middle of the zone was very vulnerable," Simien said.
"Once we got the entry pass into there ... there were easy shots
for the post guys and then the deep 3s for our other guys."

Simien didn't attempt a 3-pointer, but the four other Kansas
players who scored in double figures made at least three 3s each.

Jeff Hawkins, trying to work his way back into the playing
rotation, was 5-for-5 on 3s for 15 points in just 13 minutes.

Hawkins was suspended from the team for unspecified rules
violations during the offseason, then relegated to the end of the
bench. The junior, who played in 31 games last season, had been on
the court just 13 minutes all season before playing 17 against
Villanova.

"He's gone from not even being on the team, to serious minutes
and making shots. That helps everybody," said Keith Langford, who
scored 17 points.

"He's been in the doghouse a couple of months, but kept a good
attitude," said Self, adding that Hawkins has earned the chance to
play more.

J.R. Giddens added 14 points for Kansas, and Aaron Miles had 11.

Giddens hit a 3-pointer with 5:28 left that made it 79-55. It
was the 15th 3 for the Jayhawks, tying the school record set
against North Carolina State in December 1994.

Langford hit the record 16th 3 with 1:45 left. The Jayhawks were
16-of-27 from beyond the arc.

"We probably put too much focus on guarding the high post and
they exposed that weakness," said Baylor freshman guard Aaron
Bruce, who had 23 points.

After Simien made the first two baskets in the game, the
Jayhawks had little trouble. Baylor has lost 14 straight against
ranked opponents and is 1-10 against Kansas,

"After the Villanova loss, we knew they would be focused,"
Bears coach Scott Drew said. "We had to be in the game the first
five minutes, and we didn't do it. Tonight showed our inexperience.
Kansas had all the answers."

No. 13 Oklahoma (5-0), which escaped Waco with a 65-61 win 10
days earlier, and Kansas are the only teams still undefeated in the
Big 12.

Baylor cut the deficit to 54-45 on two free throws by Tim Bush
with 13:40 left. But Simien had consecutive baskets to start a 10-1
run and the Bears never got closer than 12 after that.

Tommy Swanson, the only Baylor letterman back from last season,
added 17 points and Tim Bush had 14.

Giddens had 11 points in the first half, hitting three of his
four 3-pointers.

After Giddens missed the rim on a 3-point attempt with about 7
minutes left, Baylor students chanted "air ball" every time he
touched the ball. That was until he made two long 3s from the top
of the key in a 45-second span late in the half for a 38-24 lead.

In between those 3s, Miles had a steal and then made both free
throws after an intentional foul, when Bruce grabbed his shirt from
behind.

The chants then changed to "Vill-a-nova" but none of it
affected the Jayhawks.

Kansas had a 48-29 lead after a 3 by Miles just 2 minutes into
the second half. The Jayhawks led by as many as 24 points.

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Men's Kansas Jayhawks Fired Up Blue Performance T-ShirtPrice: $30.00 Shop

  • Nike Men's Baylor Bears Green Basketball Practice ELITE Stripe ShortsShop

NCAAM News