Bears Battle Until Bitter End, Put Up 90 Against Highly Touted Jayhawks

by dentonramsey

Bears Battle Until Bitter End, Put Up 90 Against Highly Touted Jayhawks

By Denton Ramsey, NCAA Basketball Sportswriter

 

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Forget the final score; Baylor was in this one until the bitter end.

 

Despite No. 4 Kansas’ (23-1, 8-1 Big 12) 10-point victory over Baylor (17-5, 5-3) – the Big 12’s big surprise – the Bears played a respectable, if not remarkable, game against the highly touted Jayhwaks.

“I think our team has been successful all year because we believe in ourselves,” Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew said. “We know what work we’ve put in. I think a game like this is just another game for the people throughout the nation to see that Baylor has really improved and taken their program to another level.”

Another level, and then some…

One of BU’s five guards – Curtis Jerrells – garnered 30 points, five rebounds and four assists on the night while leading the Bears in scoring.

“You can’t show any fear,” Jerrells said. “You can’t go out there and look at the name on the jersey or that [number] four [ranking] by their name. That’s why you play the game. On any given night, anybody can win. They played 40 minutes tonight and we didn’t.”

In addition to Jerrells’ 30-point effort, freshman LaceDarius ‘Kool’ Dunn put up 23 points coming off the bench – including a rare four-point play while heating up from long range, going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc.

“We came out and took the lead, but there is 40 minutes on the court and you have to play all 40 minutes,” Dunn said. “We gave them 41 points on transition; that’s what hurt us the most. That was just poor defense on our part. Coming in, Coach [Drew] told us they are going to play fast, push the ball and look to score off transitions.”

Overall, Baylor drained 12 3-pointers on the road – in addition to managing 90 total points against arguably the best team in the conference in a rowdy Allen Fieldhouse.

“They are good. Not only are they fast, but they made shots tonight,” Kansas Head Coach Bill Self said. “Obviously we have some concerns defensively with our guards and they certainly have a talented group.”

 

Game Notes

After the Jayhawks took a 36-33 lead into the break over the Bears, Kansas and Baylor traded blows in the second half – with KU ultimately winning the battle by outscoring the pesky BU bunch 64-57, taking home a 100-90 victory to remain amongst the leaders in the race to the Big 12 title.

On the night, Kansas made 32-of-63 field goal attempts (50.8 percent) – the first Baylor opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor thus far this season. The Bears, meanwhile, shot 44.4 percent from the field on 32-of-72 attempts.

At the charity stripe, the Jayhawks picked up 36 points – going 36-for-46 (78.3 percent) from the free throw line compared to 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) at the line for the Bears.

Jerrells joined the Bears’ 1,000-point club on Saturday evening, sitting at 1,027 points through his junior season in Waco, and became the 20th BU player to reach the scoring plateau.

 

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

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