WACO, Texas – Six threes from senior Lagerald Vick and some stingy Kansas defense helped the No. 7/9 Jayhawks take down the Baylor Bears, 73-68, Saturday afternoon inside the Ferrell Center. Vick led all scorers with 18 points and was closely followed by Dedric Lawson, who scored in double figures for the 12th time in his last 13 outings with his 17 points.
The win moved the Jayhawks to 14-2 on the year and to 3-1 in Big 12 play. Baylor dropped to 9-6 in its 2018-19 season and 1-2 in the league.
It was a stellar start for the Jayhawks, specifically on the defensive end. KU held the Bears without a field goal until the 9:34 mark of the opening half. In that span, KU notched six blocks and forced four Bear turnovers. Meanwhile, the lockdown defense helped Kansas build an 18-2 lead midway through the first frame with Ochai Agbaji’s dunk at the 10:30 mark.
But once the Bears got the lid off the rim, the buckets started to come in bulk. Baylor rebounded with an 18-4 run over the next six minutes to get itself back in the game, pulling within 22-20 with just under four minutes left before the break.
Kansas gained back control ahead of the intermission with an 11-3 run. Lagerald Vick hit his second 3-pointer of the game, which also handed him his 1,000th career point, and was followed by Agbaji, who connected from deep on KU’s next trip down the floor. Vick beat the buzzer with his third triple of the half to push the KU lead back to double figures as the two squads went to the locker rooms, 35-24.
The Jayhawks carried that momentum into the second half. Vick connected from deep again just over a minute after the restart and began a 14-4 KU run that got its lead back to a comfortable distance, 49-32, with Quentin Grimes’ triple at with 13:45 to play.
The KU lead swelled to 23 points with less than seven minutes to play as the Jayhawks held the Bears to just one field goal from the 11-minute mark to the six-minute mark.
With Kansas seemingly cruising to an easy double-digit win, the Bears made it interesting over the final minutes. The Jayhawks carried a 69-51 lead into the final three minutes of regulation, but some turnovers and missed free throws fueled Baylor’s efforts in one final comeback. BU outscored KU 17-4 in those final three minutes, cutting the Jayhawk lead to four points, 72-68 on Devonte Bondoo’s 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining. But that is as close as the home side could get as Kansas held off the later Bear charge to secure a 73-68 win.
Vick led the Jayhawks in scoring for the fifth time this season, going 6-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line to tally 18 points. Lawson wasn’t far behind, turning in 17 points to go along with a season-high five blocks and a career-high five steals. Devon Dotson and Agbaji were the other Jayhawks to score in double-figures, scoring 14 points and 10 points, respectively.
Kansas connected on 54.5 percent of its shots from the field, its second-highest shooting clip this season. Meanwhile, the Jayhawk defense held the Bears to 33.3 percent shooting with the help from a season-high 11 blocks.