LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the 20th time in its history, Kansas posted an unbeaten record at Allen Fieldhouse as the No. 13/14 Jayhawks closed out the regular-season campaign with a 78-70 win over the Baylor Bears Saturday afternoon. Redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson collected his 20th double-double of the year in scoring a team-high 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Jayhawks collected their 12th league win for the 19th-straight season.
The victory, Kansas’ 21st-consecutive at home, moved the Jayhawks to 23-8 on the year and 12-6 in Big 12 play. Baylor fell to 19-12 in its 2018-19 season and 10-8 in the league.
The opening half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to gain an advantage of more than five points. David McCormark was a force the Baylor defense had difficulty stopping over the first 20 minutes. The freshman forward poured in 10 of his 12 points on the day in the opening half, including three-straight field goals to help KU build a 22-18 lead with just under eight minutes to play in first frame.
After keeping Baylor, the league’s top 3-point shooting team, largely at bay from deep over the early portion of the contest, BU’s Devonte Bandoo connected on two-straight triples to pull the score even at 24-24 heading into the final five minutes prior to the intermission
Devon Dotson’s first 3-pointer of the day gave the Jayhawks a five-point lead with 1:07 to play in the half, however BU’s Matthew Mayer hit a fall away jumper just before the buzzer to pull his squad within three points, 32-29, at the break.
Kansas jumped on the Bears in the minutes following the intermission. Freshmen Devon Dotson and McCormack each converted on lay-ups before Lawson tallied a pair of buckets to push the KU lead to 40-29 less than three minutes into the second half.
After a Scott Drew timeout, the Bears responded with a 6-0 run of their own to cut its deficit to five points just five points two minutes later. But a flagrant foul whistled on BU’s Flo Thamba gave Lawson a pair of free throws and Kansas possession. KU converted that extra possession into two more charities from Lawson, which saw KU flip the Baylor momentum and regain a nine-point advantage, 44-35, just over five minutes into the second half.
Kansas kept the visitors at arm’s length from there due to Lawson’s prowess from the free throw line and a pair of 3-pointers from Quentin Grimes. Grimes’ triple at the 11:18 mark put the Jayhawks ahead 54-40.
The Bears made one late push in the waning minutes of regulation and managed to cut the KU lead to six points, 72-66, but four free throws from Dotson as well as a bucket from Lawson helped the Jayhawks close out the 78-70 victory.
Lawson led the team in scoring for the fifth-straight game scoring 23 points, which included an 11-of-12 clip from the charity stripe. Dotson added 15 points to go along with three rebounds and a pair of steals, while McCormack finished with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting as well as five rebounds.
Kansas closed out the day holding Baylor to 19.4 percent shooting from 3-point range. The Bears, which entered the day shooting a Big 12-best 38.7 percent from deep, when 6-of-31 from beyond the arc.