Baylor gets top 10 rematch at home against Kansas

Baylor coach Scott Drew was talking about the challenge of

facing Kansas again and what to do differently this time when

Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-8 blocking phenom for the top-ranked

Lady Bears, briefly walked into the room.

Somebody jokingly asked Drew if she might be his secret to

countering Kansas forward Thomas Robinson.

The sixth-ranked Bears (21-2, 8-2 Big 12) have to figure out

something..

Three weeks ago, Baylor couldn’t stop the inside-outside combo

of Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, who combined for 55 points as

seventh-ranked Kansas won by 18 points to end Baylor’s perfect

start.

Because of the Big 12’s full round-robin schedule this season,

Baylor gets a top 10 rematch at home Wednesday night. The winner

takes a share of the Big 12 lead with fourth-ranked Missouri, which

has already beaten them both.

”It’s always good to get another shot,” Bears senior post

player Quincy Acy said.

Kansas (18-5, 8-2) is coming off a 74-71 loss at Missouri, and

has lost two of its last three games. But the Jayhawks still

haven’t lost consecutive games in more than six years – a span of

227 games – and will try to extend that streak against the

Bears.

”I’m not used to losing and don’t like how it feels,” said

Taylor, the senior guard with 111 starts who matched career highs

with 28 points and 10 field goals made in the first Baylor game.

”I don’t even know how to handle it sometimes. I don’t know what

I’m supposed to do, how I’m supposed to act. … I don’t like it.

I’m sure my teammates feel the same way.”

The 6-foot-10 Robinson, the only Big 12 player averaging a

double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds a game, had 27 points

and matched his career best with 11 made field goals against

Baylor.

”We learned how good of a team Kansas really is,” Bears

forward Quincy Miller said. ”Thomas Robinson is a different kind

of dude, man. He’s super good. … All parts of his games, he’s

exactly what you want in a power forward.”

Robinson overpowered the Baylor front line with an array of

rim-rattling dunks and short-range jumpers, while Taylor hit four

3-pointers and had six assists in that game. Taylor has scored at

least 15 points in eight consecutive games.

Baylor was down only 43-37 when Brady Heslip made a 3-pointer

with 17:36 left in that Jan. 16 game in Allen Fieldhouse. The

Jayhawks took over with a 16-5 run over the next 4 1/2 minutes, a

stretch Robinson started with a three-point play and ended with his

dunk.

The Bears, who had been 17-0 with the longest winning streak in

school history, left Kansas with their first loss. They finished

that week at home with another loss, against Missouri, where they

play Saturday. They have won four in a row since those consecutive

losses.

”They’re going to be good, there’s no question,” Kansas coach

Bill Self said. ”The first time we played them, we played pretty

good, but we also had some breaks, some things went our way. …

We’re going to have to probably play as well as we’ve played all

year, or better.”

With Baylor’s goal of winning its first Big 12 championship

still in reach, and a chance to avenge its only losses, there is no

need for any big speeches this week by Drew.

”Every week’s big. Because if we weren’t as successful in the

last four games, we wouldn’t be in this position. So you’ve got to

get up for every game,” Drew said. ”The only difference is this

game will probably be more talked-about than the past couple games

were.”

Baylor sophomore standout Perry Jones III, the preseason Big 12

player of the year who missed the first five games of the season

because of an NCAA suspension, tweaked his ankle in the first

Kansas game and still scored 18 points. The 6-11 Jones was still

ailing against Missouri, but has averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds

in the four games since.

”Definitely the most consistent stretch that he’s had,” Drew

said. ”Once he tweaked the ankle (against Kansas), the momentum

and everything changed at that point.”