With just over 6 minutes to go, and the Bears trailing just 57-555, the Baylor Bears were sitting in a pretty good position as time ticked down. Looking for their first win over Kansas at Phog Allen Field House, the Bears motion offense got a tremendous look in the corner for leading score Taurean Prince. With time to adjust the ball, Prince missed the open look. Baylor would get another stop on defense, and another beautiful chance to take the lead, but another wide open Taurean Prince shot missed badly from the wing. Those two chances summed up the Bears in the second half. They got the looks they wanted, they just missed them. Making just 8 of 26 shots in the second half, Baylor was outscored 47-31 in the last 20 minutes of action as they lost to Kansas on the road 74-64.
Make no mistake, the shots were there for the Bears. Kenny Chery missed a wide open mid-range jumper, Prince missed several open three-pointers, and the Bears offense struggled to finish possessions with points. With the offense dragging, it let Kansas survive their own sluggish offensive attack before the three-pointers started to fall. Brennan Greene hit his first three-pointer of the game with 8 minutes to go to give Kansas the lead 55-49. Then Kelly Oubre Jr. would hit his fourth three of the game to give Kansas an insurmountable 8 point lead with 2 minutes to go.
Kansas overcame a slow start to the game, as the Bears built a 13 point lead in the first 8 minutes of action. The Bears came out strong with back-to-back three pointers from Kenny Chery and Lester Medford. They would hit four 3-pointers in the first 8 minutes on their way to that 13 point lead, but would only hit 4 more the rest of the game while missing 14. The Bears were once again led by Rico Gathers, who scored a team high 18 points while Kenny Chery scored 17. With Royce O'Neale making just 1 of 8 shots, Taurean Prince making 5 of 13, and even Kenny Chery struggling with 6 of 15 shooting, the Bears simply missed too many shots.
After shooting over 43% in the first half in building their 6-point halftime lead, the Bears came out shooting bricks in the second half, making just 30.8% of their shots after halftime. With Kansas shooting over 54% in the second half, and turning it on late in the game, the Bears saw a close game get away from the late.
Perry Ellis was the star of the game for Kansas, with reserve post Landen Lucas playing 14 big minutes in the second half and contributing 9 points and 4 rebounds. Kelly Ouber Jr. also had 18 points, while point guard Frank Mason Jr. had 8 assists.
Player of the Game
Ricardo Gathers - 18 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal
With Rico Gathers being "limited" to just 8 rebounds, it broke a streak of 3 game double-double streak. However, his offensive game has continued to grow and become a more prominent aspect of the Baylor attack. He is no longer limited to just junk points off of put backs and broken plays. Several times, the Bears ran post up sets for Rico, where he continued to show off a nifty little hook shot. Rico also added in a few jumpers, though he got a little greedy later in the game taking two long jumpers that missed badly. Gathers is the Bears best player right now, and even when he doesn't dominate on the glass, he has grown his game to contribute much more.