Waco, TX – Jeff Withey scored a career-high 25 points as No. ranked Baylor, 68-54, to take a share of first place in the Big 12.
The teams entered the game in a tie for second place with identical 8-2 conference records, but the Jayhawks (19-5, 9-2 Big 12) used Withey's career day and a stifling second-half defense to overtake the Bears.
"He was great. That's probably about as good offensively we've had a big man play here in a while," Kansas head coach Bill Self said about Withey. "He was great and we needed him to be great tonight."
The Jayhawks forced nine turnovers in the second half and held Baylor to 9- for-25 shooting to earn a tie with Missouri for the conference's top spot.
Pierre Jackson paced Baylor (21-3, 8-3) with 16 points, while Quincy Acy and Cory Jefferson each added 11 as the Bears had their four-game win streak snapped. Acy added a team-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
Baylor opened a back-and-forth first half with a 7-0 spurt, but Kansas answered with seven straight points to tie the game.
Jefferson stopped the run with a jumper, sparking a 12-2 swing by the Bears to jump out to their largest lead of the game, 19-9.
A Robinson dunk followed by a Withey field goal closed the gap to six before Jackson's three-pointer stretched Baylor's lead back to 22-13.
Withey then scored the game's next four points to get within five of the Bears, and after Jefferson's jumper put Baylor up, 29-22, Withey notched five points and Conner Teahan sank two threes in an 11-1 run that put Kansas ahead 33-30 at the break.
The Jayhawks continued rolling in the second half, scoring 14 of the first 16 points to increase their lead to 47-32.
The game was never in doubt from there, as Kansas held a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest, leading by as much as 22 points and by no less than 12 en route to the victory.
"I'm most disappointed with the fight that we had," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. "I thought for 13 minutes into the second half, we didn't play or compete like we've done all year, and that was disappointing."
Kansas holds an 18-2 lead in the all-time series, including an 8-1 mark in Waco...Baylor fell to 21-4 all-time when ranked in the Top 10...Kansas improved to 4-3 against ranked opponents this season...The Jayhawks held a 32-30 advantage on the glass.