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
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
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
”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
”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
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
”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
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.”