Kansas jumped off to an early lead over Baylor on Monday night and never looked back, uprooting the Bears at Allen Fieldhouse, 61-44.
The No. 4 Jayhawks (15-1, 3-0 Big 12) surged to a 22-9 lead in the first 10 minutes of play, but the Bears bounced back, closing to within five points with 5:39 remaining in the first half.
Kansas responded, though, going on a 10-2 run to close the first half with a 33-20 lead.
Through one half of play, the Jayhawks held a 24-18 advantage on the glass (including 10 offensive rebounds). Despite shooting 38 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes, Kansas held Baylor to 21 percent shooting. Freshman center Isaiah Austin and senior guard Pierre Jackson combined for 18 of Baylor's first 20 points.
Kansas guards Ben McLemore and Travis Releford combined for 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks in the first half. Center Jeff Withey added five points, four rebounds and two blocks.
Things didn't get much better for the unranked Bears (11-5, 3-1 Big 12) in the second half, as they continued to struggled from the floor.
Austin had a strong game (15 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, one steal), but Jackson fell off in the final 20 minutes, finishing with 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting.
McLemore finished with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, two games after dropping 33 points on Iowa State in the thrilling 97-89 overtime victory.
Before the game, Dick Vitale tweeted out his thoughts on the matchup:
Headed into the duel, Baylor wasn't exactly facing favorable odds, as pointed out by ESPN Stats & Info:
Kansas enters with 30 straight home wins, 13 straight wins overall.... Baylor at Kansas in Big Monday action on ESPN— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 15, 2013
Referencing commentator Brent Musburger's infamous ogling of A.J. McCarron's girlfriend in the BCS National Championship Game, Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register tweeted:
Brent Musburger doing Baylor-Kansas. Girlfriend alert.— Mark Whicker (@MWhickerOCR) January 15, 2013
Tim Dwyer of the University Daily Kansan tweeted out some startling statistics at the half:
More Kansas players have multiple blocks then Baylor players have points. Also, KU has 10 blocks, Baylor 6 FGs. #kubball— Tim Dwyer (@T_Dwyer) January 15, 2013
Unfortunately, McLemore rolled his ankle toward the end of the game, as ESPN College BBall noted:
McLemore with a rolled ankle for #Kansas. Good sign is he walked off the court.— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 15, 2013