Kansas routs Baylor, but McLemore injures ankle
BY DAVE SKRETTA Associated Press
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
1/15/13 at 5:29 AM
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Ben McLemore scored 17 points before leaving in the final minutes with a right ankle injury, and fourth-ranked Kansas rolled to a 61-44 victory over Baylor on Monday night.
McLemore hit a 3-pointer and then scored an alley-oop dunk off a feed from Elijah Johnson to make it 61-42 with 2:44 remaining. But the freshman soon appeared to turn his ankle, lying on the court for several minutes while a trainer examined it.
McLemore eventually stood up and was helped to the Kansas locker room.
The injury was just about the only thing that didn't go right for Kansas (15-1, 3-0 Big 12), which won its 14th straight game to match the fourth-longest streak in the Bill Self era.
Johnson added 12 points and Travis Releford had 10, while the Jayhawks' defense held the Bears (11-5, 3-1) to 23.2 percent shooting and just 9-of-42 from inside the 3-point arc.
Freshman center Isaiah Austin had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bears, who have not won in 10 tries in Lawrence. Pierre Jackson finished with 10 points.
The Jayhawks used a pair of 10-3 runs to seize control in the first half, doing a good job of sharing the ball on offense and clogging up the interior on defense.
Baylor was just 4-of-25 from inside the 3-point arc in the first half - two of the makes were easy put-backs by Austin and Jackson - while the Jayhawks managed two blocks each from five players.
The Bears carried over their offensive struggles from Saturday, when they trudged to a 51-40 win over TCU. They committed nine first-half turnovers - 16 for the game - and only had a single assist to show for six made field goals.
The Jayhawks stretched the lead to 42-23 early in the second half before Baylor trimmed it to 47-34 with 10:32 remaining on a run of free throws by Gary Franklin and A.J. Walton.
It was the closest the Bears had been since halftime.
Kansas again stretched the lead on a couple of baskets by McLemore sandwiched around an easy inside look from Jeff Withey. And when Austin hit from 15 feet with 6:51 left to trim the deficit to 15, Johnson drove the lane for a three-point play.
Austin's 3-pointer got Baylor within 56-42 with 4:18 left, but McLemore poured in his own from the top of the key and then threw down his signature dunk in transition.
It would have been the exclamation mark on a blowout win.
Instead, his injury left a sellout crowd inside Allen Fieldhouse quiet as the final seconds ticked off the clock on the Jayhawks' fourth win in their last five games against Baylor.
There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.
Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away from Baylor guard Pierre Jackson during the first half of Monday's game in Lawrence, Kan. ORLIN WAGNER / Associated Press