In just two days of rest and rebound from a hard road win over Texas Tech, Baylor No.2 had all the excuses for putting up a clunker against the desperate Kansas Number 9 team Monday night. Instead, the Bears won 77-69 in a match that they led from wire to wire, and released a statement that the Big 12, officially and indefinitely, will pass through Waco, Texas, this season.
Baylor led up to 16 points and dominated the match throughout. Kansas made some great second-half turns to cut the lead nearly to five, but the Bears attack – and specifically, Jared Butler – had an answer at every turn. Butler scored 30 points and provided eight assists, which represented seven three-pointers and three-pointers for the team. Baylor as a team went 28 by 52 off the field, enjoying the success around the edge as much as it did outside the arc.
The backing Butler team showed massively as well, with MaCio Teague adding 13 points, Davion Mitchell scoring 10 of their own, and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua dropping off the bench to add eight points and a pair of blocks. Marc Vital scored only 4 points, but was ahead of the rebound by 10 points.
His points all came down an alley, and he had a chasing block in the first half that gave Baylor a lot of momentum in her favor.
Credit to Kansas: She didn’t quit when it seemed, by all accounts, as if she had every right to do exactly that. Baylor came to Kuwait University in waves and the university continued to throw punches into its right back. But after getting five points with 3:19 to play, he never came close. The only drama came next in Garbage Time when Chris Tehan made an invisible 3D pointer as time expired, killing a lot of bettors in a crushing way who backed the bears at -8.5 or -9.
Baylor improved by winning to a perfect 13-0 this season and to 6-0 in the Big 12 match, one game over Texas and 2.5 games over the Jayhawks. He gets the rest of the week off before heading to Stillwater to face Oklahoma on Saturday.
Here are three main points of the game.
Jared Butler, Kansas killer
First All-American Team, possibly the first round NBA Draft, the college star. Choose what you call a Butler: I’ll call him a Kansas killer. Because its 30-point eruption, though enormous, is not at all surprising. In front of Kuwait University in March 2019, Butler scored 31 points. Against Kuwait University in January 2020, Butler scored 22 points and won inside Allen Fieldhouse; On Monday, he scored 30 points, to match the decisive passes in a massive victory. He had always been cool all night long, and he seemed to be big every moment when Baylor needed him.
Christian Brown kept KU in it
He only took seven shots per night, but sophomore goalkeeper Christian Brown made five of them – all three – in a 17-point outing that included a pair of free throws. 14 of them came in at the first half, and he single-handedly prevented Baylor from blowing the thing up before the break. (He only took two shots in the second half – analyze that.) Brown had a lot of support – Uchai Agbaji came strong in the second half in particular – but he can be credited with keeping KU in the mix when it looks very likely that UC Kuwait deserved to be totally out of the mix.
Bears make a statement
Not only has Baylor struggled with historically KS – she had an all-time KU record of 6 to 33 as the night went on – but she also struggled lately. Kuwait University won 14 of the last 16 in the series. He also dominated regardless of where he was, with an all-time record versus Baylor at Waco 3-14. It’s just one win that won’t affect those numbers in the grand scheme, of course. But it is a hugely significant win considering its unforgivable struggles against Kansas. That kind of win can create some real momentum – something Baylor isn’t really lacking. That should frighten the rest of the 12 big boys.