Photo by © Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Basketball

Baylor dismantles Kansas with 80-64 win

February 10, 2018
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After 11 losses to Kansas, Baylor finally pulled it off. The Bears beat the Jayhawks. Not only did they beat them on Saturday afternoon, but took down the conference favorites 80-64. With the win, the Bears are now on a three-win streak and look like one of the most dangerous teams around.


Two games in one

Had Baylor kept Kansas to 20 points in the second half as it did to open the game, it would have been Kansas’ lowest mark in the Bill Self era. But after regrouping in the second half, the Jayhawks stormed back within a possession more than doubled their first half production, making the second half an offensive shootout. 

For the first half, coach Scott Drew credited Baylor’s transition work for the team’s success, a direct response to the previous bout with the Jayhawks. But in the second half as KU put up 44 points to climb within a possession, Drew said “they did a great job exploiting” the high-post and shook off Baylor’s zone better to open up more three-point opportunities.

Despite the change of pace in the second half, Self said he “still felt [Baylor] controlled the game.”

Baylor held a 30-20 lead entering halftime and that lead proved crucial for the Bears. Manu Lecomte said the objective was to hold a sizable lead in the final three minutes. In all of Baylor’s close losses including the team’s trip to Allen Fieldhouse, it was the final three minutes where the game unraveled. Holding that double-digit lead in the final minutes was the deciding factor.

Jo Lual-Acuil makes a statement…Nuni Omot makes a statement…

“Jo was unstoppable inside,” Manu Lecomte said after the game. “Nuni was making shots from three.”

There are too many player listed in the press conference. While it wasn’t every player that had a career performance, everyone was operating in their own right.

Lual-Acuil was in full control of the glass, grabbing 16 of his 19 points from inside (adding a nice three from the top of the key) and added six rebounds to his box score. But he wasn’t alone inside, Mark Vital continues to make waves with 11 rebounds (and had numerous tips land in Nuni Omot and Lual-Acuil’s hands) and three blocks.

And for your viewing pleasure, here’s Vital’s earth shattering block to close the first half.

Manu Lecomte put up some daggers in the second half but Coach Drew said he was most impressed with his six assists to two turnovers, a similar stat line to Jake Lindsey who had a crucial four-point run in the first half. Add in Nuni Omot sinking 3-of-4 three-pointers, this team looks like it’s rolling on all cylinders. 

The only real downside to the game was shooting 67 percent of free throws. 


Dominating three-point game changes the tone

Great coaches in their own right, Bill Self and Scott Drew have different ideas of that’s a good shot- at least, when it comes to Manu Lecomte’s hand.

In the closing six minutes of the game, Lecomte put up two 30-foot shots, effectively sealing the game for the Bears. Self said those were “bad shots” but Drew could only grin thinking about them. He said he welcomes teams leaving his point guard open. Those shots will go through more often than not.

“If people are going to leave him open out there, I’d like him to shoot,” Drew said, comparing him to Steph Curry and Oklahoma’s Trae Young.

Thanks to Lecomte coming alive in the second half, Baylor shot 53 percent from the perimeter for the first time in conference play. Not only was the offense rocking — but playing with a double-digit lead — the defense held one of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams to 19 percent.

Devonte’ Graham was 4-of-10 but had three air balls on the afternoon, perfectly summarizing the Jayhawks’ performance.

Side note: Some viewers may have seen Lecomte hurt his hand later in the game. He said that he just jammed his pinky and should be fine.

Discussion from...

Baylor dismantles Kansas with 80-64 win

MrGolfguy
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Baylor was the better team today; "dismantle"? Not in my opinion. The end of the game lead got stretched out a bit, not reflective of how close this game really was.
The Bears played great defense today, including just 20 pts for KU in the 1st half. In the end, as good as this win was (and as good as it feels) its just 1 win which keeps hopes alive that the Bears can make something out of this season. That's it. I just don't feel like we 'dismantled' KU today.

Congrats Scott Drew & team, great job today.
Gust Avrakotos
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Yes, dismantle is pure spin but it was a great win and the team really played well.

Omot's contribution was huge.

Gust
zunooreo
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Big win, no doubt. Omot (finally) showing up, Manu hitting gut shots, and Terry being Terry helped Jo. Jo is still too soft in my opinion for the big time. However, big win for the Bears to build a tourney resume and hopefully get in to the 64. Make a run in the Big XII tourney, get a bid, and make the Sweet 16. That's my goal for the Bears, and a great momentum builder going into next year.
bear2be2
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zunooreo said:

Big win, no doubt. Omot (finally) showing up, Manu hitting gut shots, and Terry being Terry helped Jo. Jo is still too soft in my opinion for the big time. However, big win for the Bears to build a tourney resume and hopefully get in to the 64. Make a run in the Big XII tourney, get a bid, and make the Sweet 16. That's my goal for the Bears, and a great momentum builder going into next year.
Omot has averaged 14.5 points over his last six Big 12 games, hitting double figures in five of those, so he's been showing up for a while now.

And Jo just outplayed Azubuike in every way imaginable in a battle of 7-footers. I would call that a big-time matchup, and he didn't look too soft for it to me.
Thankful Bear
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Anyone know where to find press conference after beating KU?
Bear8084
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Thankful Bear said:

Anyone know where to find press conference after beating KU?


The official Baylor Basketball Twitter might have it or David Smoak's Twitter.
EvilTroyAndAbed
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MrGolfguy said:

Baylor was the better team today; "dismantle"? Not in my opinion. The end of the game lead got stretched out a bit, not reflective of how close this game really was.
The Bears played great defense today, including just 20 pts for KU in the 1st half. In the end, as good as this win was (and as good as it feels) its just 1 win which keeps hopes alive that the Bears can make something out of this season. That's it. I just don't feel like we 'dismantled' KU today.
MrGolfguy
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Not sure what your problem is Ma'am, but I was at the game today and what I witnessed was not Baylor "dismantling" Kansas. Sorry.
Russell Gym
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Its just a headline. Writers try to be creative instead of put readers to sleep with "Joe Beat Moe."

It's not sworn testimony.
vanillabryce
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Nuni has been playing his game, which has been spotting up for three and using 2 dribbles or less to get to the bucket.

He missed a few blockouts yesterday, but overall he played really well.

His shooting and Vital's energy have been key to this run.
BUbearinARK
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Dismantled KU's streak/ record against us. In more than single digit fashion. Could've been even greater if they didn't let off the gas temporarily second half. Great win whether dismantled or demoralized.
BUbackerinET
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No doubt a great win, and I'm proud of our guys and their effort today. Watched every second of it and loved it! Now for reality: our conference is VERY deep this year. KU is VERY short-handed this year without a lot of solid bench players, so the conference is strong, but it's historical leader isn't. I'm cautiously optimistic for this group to keep the "mo" rolling, but I am also realistic. If we win 20, and win 3 of our last 4, and get to the second round of the B12 tournament, then MAYBE we dance. I think the more realistic outcome for us this year is the NIT, in which I believe we will have a nice run...
VideoBear
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I'm not sure you can say Jo outplayed Azubuike. Jo played 35 minutes to Azubuike's 19 due to foul trouble. I will give you that Jo looked better and was able to keep the fouls under control but Azubuike barely had a chance to impact the game.
vanillabryce
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He barely had a chance to impact the game due to his inability to play defense with discipline. He took himself out of the game. Therefore, he was outplayed. Or... maybe DJ Khaled would tell him, "Congratulations, you played yourself."
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