Butler scores 30, unbeaten No. 2 Baylor tops No. 9 Kansas

Jayhawks

Baylor guard Mark Vital pressures the shot of Kansas guard Dajuan Harris, left, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

WACO, Texas (AP) – Jared Butler had a season-high 30 points and eight assists as No. 2 Baylor remained undefeated with a 77-69 victory Monday night over No. 9 Kansas, which has lost consecutive Big 12 games for the first time in nearly eight years.

The Bears (13-0, 6-0 Big 12) led throughout in a matchup of this year’s preseason league favorite and the team that has won or shared 15 of the last 16 regular-season titles. Butler made the first of his seven 3-pointers on the first shot of the game, part of Baylor’s opening 11-2 spurt.

Kansas (10-4, 4-3) played for the first time since a 75-70 loss last Tuesday at Oklahoma State before the Jayhawks’ scheduled game Saturday was postponed because of COVID-19 issues in Iowa State’s program.

The Jayhawks were within 65-60 with 3:18 left after Tristan Enaruna drove the baseline for a slam that capped an 8-0 run. Butler then hit a 3 at the other end, and Kansas never got closer.

Coach Bill Self’s team hadn’t lost consecutive Big 12 games since a three-game losing streak in February 2013 against Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma.

MaCio Teague added 13 points and Davion Mitchell 10 for the Bears.

Christian Braun had 14 of his 17 points for Kansas in the first half, while Ochai Agbaji had 13 of his 16 points after halftime.

Butler, the preseason AP All-America guard, had nine points in the game’s first five minutes. That came two days after he was scoreless until scoring seven points in the final seven minutes of a 68-60 win at Texas Tech that was Baylor’s first game this season decided by fewer than 10 points.

Baylor had as much as a 16-point lead in the first half, at 37-21 following another 3 by Butler that prompted Self to call his third timeout. That came only seconds before what would have been the under-four media stoppage, but he didn’t wait after the 3 that was set up when Matthew Mayer stole a bad pass by Marcus Garrett.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas: The Jayhawks are 98-14 following a loss under Self. Their last eight losses overall have been to Top 25 teams. … If not for Braum’s effort in the first half, when he made all four of his 3-pointers, the Jayhawks could have been in a much bigger hole. There was a stretch of just over four minutes when he outscored Baylor 11-10 on his own.

Baylor: The Bears are 13-0 for the fourth time in school history – the other times were in 1911-12, 2011-12 and 2016-17. They are 6-0 in Big 12 for the second season in a row.

UP NEXT

Kansas is at Oklahoma on Saturday, only two weeks after holding on at home for a 63-59 win over the Sooners.

Baylor plays at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

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