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Baylor Basketball

No. 9 Bears Blow 17-Point First-Half Lead to No. 5 Kansas, Lose 87-71

February 18, 2023

LAWRENCE, Kansas — The No. 9 Baylor Men’s Basketball team (20-7, 9-5) blew a 17-point first-half lead to the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks (22-5, 10-4) and lost by a score of 87-71.

After a stellar first half, Scott Drew called the second half a “complete breakdown” for his squad.

The Bears would have struggled to draw up a better first half offensively, with the opposite being an apt way to describe the defense in the second half.

To begin the game, the three starting guards were all “on”, with George, Flagler and Cryer scoring 15, 14 and 13 respectively. 

They were efficient shooting the ball, missing just 11 of their 27 shots and going 8-for-13 from deep.

Past those three, however, there was little production on the stat sheet. 

Jalen Bridges was the only other scorer for Baylor in the half. He knocked down a three close to halftime and, in all fairness, the forwards were not needed for offensive production in the first period. 

They were needed for defense, and while they held the Jayhawks to 32 points, the fouls racked up on Flo Thamba and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua. 

Thamba, George and Langston Love all ended the half with two fouls while Everyday Jon picked up a third.

Despite that trouble, there were highlights-o-plenty for the green and gold. 

Early on, Cryer knocked down three straight threes to open up a 6-point lead for the Bears.

Then Flagler and George heated up. Just under six minutes to go in the half, Flagler knocked down a triple, Jalen Wilson missed a layup at the other end and George made the Jayhawks pay at the other end. 

He rose up in transition and slammed home a monstrous dunk to extend Baylor’s lead to 31-22.

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He would later nail back-to-back threes, including a four-point play to grow the BU lead to as much as 17 points. 

The Jayhawks would draw it down 45-32 at the half, and that was simply a sign of things to come. 

The highlights ceased and the Kansas crowd got rowdy quickly.

Kansas started the second half on a 10-0 run and pushed the Baylor lead down to just three before three minutes had elapsed. 

Further 8-0 and 11-0 runs by the Jayhawks completed the script flip on the No. 9 Bears. 

Jalen Wilson notched 12 of his team-leading 21 points in the second half, but the real killer for Baylor was Dajuan Harris.

His 14 points, all in the second half, included wide-open dagger threes that truly buried the Bears. 

Flagler’s 22 points and George’s 20 only went so far on the night, and the green and gold will be searching for more answers after giving up a 55-26 half. 

Elsewhere on the stat sheet, KU out-rebounded Baylor 22-11 in the second and shot 19-for-30 in the period. 

The Bears were just 1-for-11 from deep in the second.

All of that goes toward saying the Bears will be looking for answers over the next two off days in Kansas as they head to Manhattan and await a Tuesday evening match with the No. 12 Kansas State Wildcats. That game will tip off at 6 PM and be aired on ESPN 2.

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No. 9 Bears Blow 17-Point First-Half Lead to No. 5 Kansas, Lose 87-71

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