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Men knock off top ranked KU

Feb. 14, 2001

Baylor displays superb defense in 85-77 defeat of No. 5-ranked Kansas

By ROB SINCLAIR

Sports writer

Coming into Monday's game, the Baylor men's basketball team boasted the best scoring defense in the Big 12 Conference, allowing just 61.1 points per game. At the other end of the floor, however, stood the No. 5-ranked University of Kansas Jayhawks, who just happened to be the top-scoring team in the league with 83.5 points per game.

In an irresistible force vs. immovable object game like that, something had to give. That something was the Jayhawks, who never led Baylor and lost 85-77. It was the highest-ranked opponent Baylor had defeated in more than a decade.

'This is my No. 1 win,' guard DeMarcus Minor said. 'This is our reward for all the hard work we put in during the summer.'

Baylor's defense rose to the challenge both inside the lane and on the perimeter Monday night. On the interior, the Bears made 7-foot-1-inch Kansas center Eric Chenowith disappear. He finished with four points (all in the second half) four rebounds and four turnovers.

Chenowith's primary nemesis was Baylor center Steven Othoro, who contributed seven points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes. Forwards Logan Kosmalski and Greg Davis also played well, combining for 12 points and seven rebounds.

The performance against KU came just two days after the Baylor big men held another premier post player, the University of Nebraska's Kimani Ffriend, to just three points, more than 10 below his season average.

'Those three have been a great help for us and in the last two games they've really stepped up big,' guard Wendell Greenleaf said. 'Steve's playing well right now and we love the excitement he brings to the team. Logan's been great as a freshman and we don't know where we would be without Greg.'

The Bears have also strung together impressive defensive efforts against the outside shooters they've faced recently. Husker guard Cary Cochran led the Big 12 in three-point shooting at better than 51 percent coming into Saturday's game. He ended up 2-11.

Baylor was even better against Kansas guard Jeff Boschee. He was connecting on 47.6 percent of his three-pointers in Big 12 play, yet the Bears held him to a 1-11 performance Monday.

'We've been very, very focused on the players we know we need to stop,' Greenleaf said. 'We just played defense like coach [Bliss] wanted us to play.'

Something that should not be overlooked is Baylor's hot shooting of late. Following a losing skid that included five of the previous six games, Baylor shot 46.9 percent against Nebraska and a blistering 51.9 percent against Kansas. Greenleaf, however, knows that the Bears cannot celebrate their upset anymore.

'We have to move on and build on the season,' he said. 'We're looking for the best we can do against Oklahoma. We still have other dreams and goals we want to accomplish this year.'