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Dominant 2nd Half Lifts Kansas Over Baylor

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By The University of Kansas Athletics

 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — No. 5 Kansas overcame a 17-point deficit, outscoring No. 9 Baylor 55-26 in the second half to beat the Bears 87-71 inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.

The Jayhawks (22-5, 10-4 Big 12) outscored the Bears 55-26 in the second half. Kansas trailed by as many as 17 points, 40-23, with 3:30 to play in the first half. It was the largest deficit overcome by KU since defeating Kansas State 78-75 on Jan. 22, 2022 after also trailing by 17.

Kansas has now overcome two double-digit deficits to win in conference play for the first time since joining the Big 12 in 1996-97. The Jayhawks erased a double-digit halftime deficit and won by double digits for the first time since 2015 versus Oregon State. It’s the first time KU has done it in a conference game in the Big 12 era.

Jalen Wilson led Kansas with 21 points and 13 rebounds, marking his league-leading ninth double-double this season. Wilson has scored in double figures 26 times in 27 games this season. KJ Adams added 17 points and Gradey Dick had 16.

Baylor (20-7, 9-5) got nearly all of its scoring from its three-guard combo of Adam Flagler (22 points) Keyonte George (20 points) and LJ Cryer (15 points). The rest of the team combined to score just 14 points.

Baylor shot 9-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half and and 10 for 25 overall. Conversely, Kansas, which hit only 1-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half finished 6-for-21 from long distance.

The Jayhawks scored the last three points of the first half and the first 10 of the second half to trim a 15-point deficit to 45-42 with less than 2:30 gone in the second half.

When Dick hit a 3-pointer at the 14:29 mark, Kansas had stormed all the way back and led 50-49. The Jayhawks never trailed again and extended the lead to double digits (65-54) at the 10:20 mark of the second half. Kansas’ double-digit victory was the first time since Dec. 12, 2015 (vs. Oregon State) that Kansas trailed by double figures, only to come back and win by double-digits.

The Bears led 20-14 at the second media timeout with Cryer (11 points) and Flagler (9) combining for all 20 Baylor points. Baylor used an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 33-21 with 5:07 left. George joined in the scoring, and when he hit a 3-pointer with 3:54, followed by another with 3:32 left, the Bears led 39-23 with all the points coming from the three guards.