No. 8 Kansas rebounds with 69-52 win at Baylor

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm •  Published: February 4, 2014
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WACO, Texas (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self knows most people look at how Andrew Wiggins plays as a barometer for what to expect from the eighth-ranked Jayhawks.

Don't make the mistake of overlooking the other players around the Big 12's top-scoring freshman.

Naadir Tharpe scored 22 points, nine in a go-ahead run before halftime, and the Big 12-leading Jayhawks rebounded from their first league loss with a 69-52 victory at Baylor on Tuesday night.

"We've just got to be a team that it's going to be a different guy most every night," Self said. "And (Tharpe) stepped up when we needed him to step up."

Early on, there were three ties and nine lead changes. Tharpe's short jumper with 3½ minutes left in the half broke a 25-all tie and put the Jayhawks (17-5, 8-1 Big 12) ahead to stay.

The tiebreaking shot was Tharpe's third basket in a 14-3 spurt over the final 5 minutes of the first half, and he added a 3-pointer with a minute left. He then made another 3 on Kansas' opening possession after halftime.

Wiggins finished 4-of-13 shooting and didn't make his first basket until a half-court shot to beat the buzzer going into halftime for a 35-27 lead.

"Well, we ran that play for him at the end of the first half to get him going," Self joked of Wiggins, who finished two points off his season average.

"It was big. It gave a great momentum push going into halftime," said Perry Ellis, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. "It was great that he knocked that down. It got him going."

Cory Jefferson had 14 points to lead Baylor (14-8, 2-7), which lost its fourth consecutive game at the Ferrell Center after a 13-game home winning streak. It's the longest home drought since dropping six straight in 2005.

The Bears, coming off a win at then-No. 8 Oklahoma State that snapped their overall five-game losing streak, was trying to set up for a final shot before halftime when Kenny Chery threw an errant pass that Wiggins intercepted.

"Round 1 is over in the league. We have to do better in Round 2," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "The good thing is I believe we can win every game, but with the Big 12 being like it is we can lose every game. We have to make sure we play well to have a chance to win."

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