Baylor Once Again Falls to No. 8 Kansas

Baylor fought hard, but found themselves ever able to get an advantage against a juggernaut Kansas squad in a 79-52 loss in Waco.

It was the same old Baylor Bears on the court Tuesday night in Waco. They gave us some early hope, but Baylor (14-8, 2-7) broke our hearts once again in a 69-52 loss to No. 8 Kansas (17-5, 8-1) in Waco. The loss was Baylor's sixth in seven games.

Baylor looked like they would finally come out with energy to open the game. Senior guard Gary Franklin dished the ball to senior power forward Cory Jefferson on the first play for an alley-oop. Jefferson would subsequently get a steal on the other side that would turn into a three-pointer for senior guard Brady Heslip to make it 5-0.

Kansas would fight back, but Heslip seemed to keep the energy going for Baylor. He hit three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to maintain Baylor's 22-21 lead over the Jayhawks. At this point, Heslip was shooting 4-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from the three-point line.

Kansas wrested back the lead behind consecutive baskets from Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe. Baylor had an opportunity to tie the game heading into the half, but Kansas phenom Andrew Wiggins grabbed two steals in the closing minutes. One was dished to Tharpe for a three-pointer. Wiggins converted a halfcourt heave at the buzzer to give Kansas a 35-27 lead heading into the half.

Like in games past, Baylor struggled to come back on a team with superior talent. At one point, the Bears would cut the lead down to four, but Kansas would respond with three quick points. Baylor cut the lead down to 45-42 with 12:56 left in the game, but Kansas would take over from there.

Wiggins banged home a three-pointer and then had back-to-back dunks to push their lead to 56-44 with only 7:49 left in the game. Kansas would cruise to an easy 69-52 victory from there.

After hitting 4 for his first 5 from the three-point line, Heslip would miss five straight. He missed all four of his field goal attempts from two-point land on the night. Jefferson led the Bears in scoring with 14 points. He only hit one field goal in the second half. Sophomore forward Rico Gathers had eight rebounds and no other Baylor player had more than six.

Tharpe had a career night with 22 points on only 13 shot attempts on the night. He added five rebounds and four assists. Wiggins contributed with 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and three steals. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Baylor struggled mightily to get any consistent offense going from the field. They shot 34.5 percent from the field in the first half. Kansas shot 53.6 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-for-6 from the three-point line.

In the second half, Baylor's defense turned up a notch. They held the Jayhawks to 38.5 percent from the field. Unfortunately, the Bears managed to shoot a pathetic 23.1 percent from the field in the second half. You're really not going to win many basketball games if your team shoots 29.1 percent from the field.

Baylor will look to turn their season around against No. 21 Oklahoma in Norman at 6 p.m. on Saturday night. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

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