Photo by Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Basketball

Bears Topple No. 5 Kansas 80-70 in front of Record Crowd

February 26, 2022
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WACO, Texas — The No. 10 Baylor men’s basketball (24-5, 12-4) team ground out a statement win over the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks (23-5, 12-3) 80-70 in front of a record 10,628 person crowd in the Ferrell Center.

Flo Thamba and Jeremy Sochan both scored career highs with 18 and 17 points respectively. Not to mention they 14 combined rebounds.

Baylor fans may have felt some deja vu early in the first half as Kansas launched itself to a 12-2 lead in the first five minutes.

The lead stretched to 28-15 with around six minutes left in the half, but this time the Bears found a way to claw back into the game before halftime.

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“Early on sometimes you're emotion and excited and you speed things up” coach Scott Drew said after the game. But they settled down and got to work. 

A couple of very acrobatic finishes from Adam Flagler along with a Jeremy Sochan dunk propelled a 14-2 response run for Baylor. 

The halftime deficit was just one point, 32-31 Kansas. 

Such a small handicap to start the second half was only possible thanks to a tremendous half from Flo Thamba.

Thamba scored 12 points in the half, including eight in a row when Kansas was trying to extend its lead into the teens.

Kansas threw another haymaker to start the second half with Ochai Agbaji going on a solo 7-0 run, but the Jayhawks lead would go no higher than five for the rest of the night.

A Flagler jumper, followed quickly by a Sochan three and a Sochann dunk off a nice Dale Bonner assist tilted the game in Baylor’s favor.

By the midway point of the half, Kansas’ lead had disappeared and would not return. 

The Bears tried to push the pace, racking up 22 fast-break points, and they pounded the paint no matter the tempo, netting 40 paint points on the night.

There was no killer second-half run like Bear fans were so often treated to last year. This team just ground the Jayhawks down and closed out the game in a fairly controlled manner. 

In fact, Baylor’s lead grew to as much as 10 in the final minutes, with the final score settling nicely at 80-70.

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This was a great team performance with everyone doing their part. While Thamba and Sochan registered career-highs in scoring, Matthew Mayer played a big role on the boards grabbing 12 rebounds to go along with his nine points. 

Flagler and Akinjo both got to double digits, netting 13 and 12 respectively. While Kendall Brown posted nine points, three rebounds, and three assists in a well-rounded outing.

The Bears' defense was also on-point tonight, holding Kansas to 34% from the field and just 25% from three.

Baylor is now just half a game behind Kansas for first place in the Big 12, with the Jayhawks needing to play three more games.

Up next for Baylor is a trip to Texas on Monday before they close out the regular season hosting Iowa State. The Texas game will be at 8 PM CT on 2/28 and will be televised on ESPN.

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Bears Topple No. 5 Kansas 80-70 in front of Record Crowd

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