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Bears crumble at Kansas, 81-75

Jan. 21, 2010

Associated Press
Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn (24) shoots over Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor (10) during the second half. Dunn scored 27 points in the game.

By Justin Baer
Sports writer

Sherron Collins scored 28 points, and the University of Kansas held off a feisty Baylor squad 81-75 Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse to extend its home winning streak to 54 games--the longest active streak in the NCAA.

Collins shot 56 percent from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line, to put a damper on Baylor's quest for an upset.

"Sherron is the point guard, the leader, the general of our team - we look to him to make big shots, but he loves it," Kansas junior center Cole Aldrich said. "He enjoys being in that position."

Last season during Baylor's historic journey through the Big 12 Tournament, LaceDarius Dunn orchestrated a monumental upset over then No. 11 Kansas with 24 points, including six 3-pointers. Dunn tried to be the hero once more Wednesday night, but with the Baylor front line finding itself in foul trouble, Dunn's task was insurmountable in the tumultuous environment.

Dunn finished with a team-high 27 points and nine rebounds, but the rest of the Bears destructed in the game's final minutes.

Baylor out-rebounded Kansas 34-29, but wasn't able to create second-chance opportunities off of missed shots in the closing minutes.

"I wish we could go back and do the last three minutes again, because we didn't get those offensive boards late in the game," head coach Scott Drew said. "I credit KU for doing what they needed to do."

The Bears (14-3, 2-2) erased a 10-point deficit with 3:35 left in the game when Anthony Jones' dunk capped a 10-0 run, that he started, to tie the game at 65-65. Later after Marcus Morris converted both free throws, Dunn brought the Bears within one possession on a floater in the lane. But the clutch Collins retaliated with his fifth 3-pointer of the night to stifle Baylor's valiant comeback effort.

Dunn's number was dialed in the first half when both Ekpe Udoh and Josh Lomers succumbed to foul trouble. Drew resorted to inexperienced freshman Cory Jefferson, however the Killeen native with a raw skill set wasn't capable of outdueling the Kansas All-American Aldrich.

The Bears' offense became practically one-dimensional, but Dunn refused to let Baylor skip a beat. The Monroe, La., native stepped up and splashed three of his four, first-half 3-pointers while Udoh and Lomers were on the bench.

"I think that we did a good job handling the ball and dealing with the crowd," Dunn said. "Most of all, we slowed it down, because Kansas likes to run. So we tried our best to slow it down every once in a while and run our offense."

Even though they had 14 turnovers in the opening half, the Bears teetered throughout the first 20 minutes with the Jayhawks. Baylor took a three-point lead when Dunn buried a trey from the corner with 3:25 left in the half. The Bears then remained with a brief lead in the half's closing minutes, but Markieff Morris's put-back dunk as time expired tied the game at 30 going into intermission.

"It's really frustrating," Drew said of Baylor's 20 total turnovers. "The good thing is we know an area where we can improve. In our two losses, we've had turnovers and that's something we need to work on."

Baylor stayed afloat with Kansas until midway through the second half when Collins took over. Collins, who was an integral part of the Jayhawks' 2008 championship run, scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half to send the Bears to their eight consecutive Big 12 road loss.

As a consolatory prize, the Bears did stop a Kansas streak of 91 consecutive games of holding the opponent to less than 50 percent shooting by shooting 52.1 percent from the field.

Baylor returns home for a non-conference match against the University of Massachusetts 3 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center.