LAWRENCE, Kan. — Hunter Dickinson scored 15 points to lead a balanced attack as No. 4 Kansas extended its home winning streak to 18 games with a 64-61 win over No. 13 Baylor on Saturday night.
Baylor got the ball with 14.2 seconds left and a chance to tie it, but Jayden Nunn's 3-point try from the corner was short. After Nicolas Timberlake missed the front end of a one-and-one, Ja'Kobe Walter's 3-point attempt caromed off the rim.
“I was hoping the game was slow, which it was,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I was hoping the game was ugly and muddy, which it was, in large part because they turned it over and in large part because we couldn’t make shots.”
His team's 21 turnovers were what troubled Baylor coach Scott Drew.
“We've got to do a better job,” he said. ”You'll never beat anybody of quality, let alone Kansas, with 21 turnovers. That was the area that will we’ll focus on the most trying to get better at. I’m happy with holding them to 43 percent (from the field). We win games like that. We did a great job on the glass, 15-4 on second chance points.
“But if (Patrick) Mahomes throws six picks, (the Chiefs) are not going to win tomorrow (in the Super Bowl).”
Kansas, 13-0 at home this season, played without guard Kevin McCullar, who is out with a knee injury. Timberlake made his first start with the Jayhawks.
Drew is now 1-15 in Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas (19-5, 7-4 Big 12) got 14 points from Dajuan Harris, 13 from KJ Adams and 11 from Johnny Furphy.
Despite the win, Self was in a testy mood after the game.
“This is probably the least happy I’ve been after a win, because that’s not how you play basketball,” he said.
Baylor (17-6, 6-4) was led by Yves Missi with 21 points and Walter with 17.
“He’s a really good athlete, obviously,” Dickinson said of his counterpart on the Bears. “He just runs really good out of ball screens. That puts a lot of pressure on a defense when you've got really good guards out there that can stretch the floor.”
Kansas kept Baylor at arm's length for most of the second half. After Baylor trimmed the deficit to 37-36 early in the half, the Jayhawks responded with a 6-0 run. Baylor again trimmed it to a one-possession game at 44-41, but a 9-1 Kansas run opened a double-digit lead.
Baylor kept the game within reach, getting within 3 points but couldn't get over the hump.
The bench stepped up, with Timberlake scoring eight points.
“We were missing a lot with Kevin being out," Dickinson said. "He's one of the best players in college basketball. But we all felt pretty confident in one another to step up and make big plays. We’re at Kansas for a reason. It’s not a surprise that guys stepped up. That’s what we expected.”
Dickinson was the story in the first half. He scored 13, more than half his team's first 25 points. Kansas jumped out quickly, racing to an 18-6 lead by the second media timeout. In that opening stretch, the Jayhawks hit seven of their first 10 shots.
Dickinson picked up his second foul with 2:59 left in the first half and sat the rest of the half.
Kansas led by as many as 13 points in the first half before Baylor trimmed it to 34-28 at halftime.
Houston: The Bears did not let the big, early deficit take them out of their game. They answered nearly every Kansas run.
Kansas: The Jayhawks need McCullar to get healthy moving forward. He leads the team with 19.5 points per game.
Baylor: The Bears return home Tuesday night for a game against Oklahoma.
Kansas: The Jayhawks will travel to Texas Tech on Monday night.