McLemore leads No. 4 Kansas past Baylor 61-44
By DAVE SKRETTA
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Ben McLemore had just hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and then rose to the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse to throw down an alley-oop dunk and bring a raucous crowd to its feet.
When he hit the floor moments later, the old barn was filled with deafening silence.
McLemore had poured in 17 points in the fourth-ranked Jayhawks' 61-44 win over Baylor, but he was now clutching his right ankle in pain. The star freshman grimaced as a trainer probed and prodded it, and then he was helped to his feet and straight to the Kansas locker room.
Kansas coach Bill Self said afterward that McLemore had a Grade-1 sprain, "and if we were going to practice tomorrow, I wouldn't let him practice." But Self also was hopeful that McLemore won't miss more than a few days, which means he could be back before Saturday's game at Texas.
McLemore has been a big reason why the Jayhawks (15-1, 3-0 Big 12) have won 14 straight games, matching the fourth-longest winning streak during the Self era.
He leads the team in scoring, hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime in a win against Iowa State, and has become one of the best perimeter defenders in the Big 12.
"It's pretty easy to see how good a player he is," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "We knew out of high school he'd be good, but what he's done this early in his career has been impressive."
Johnson finished with 12 points and Travis Releford had 10 for the Jayhawks, whose defense held the Bears (11-5, 3-1) to 23.2 percent shooting and 9 of 42 from inside the 3-point arc.
Freshman center Isaiah Austin had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bears, who still have never won in 10 tries in Lawrence. Pierre Jackson finished with 10 points.
"Our defense definitely carried us, because in stretches we didn't shoot that well," Kansas forward Jeff Withey said. "We just played really good defense and that saved us."
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 - while the Jayhawks managed two blocks each from five different players.
The Bears carried over their offensive struggles from Saturday, when they trudged their way to a 51-40 win over TCU. They committed nine first-half turnovers - 16 for the game - against one of the nation's premier defenses, and only had a single assist to show for six made field goals.
"We weren't going strong to the basket, like we should have, like we usually do," said the Bears' A.J. Walton. "You can't knock anything they do. They were just good on defense."
Still, Baylor was within 23-18 on Austin's 3-pointer with 5:26 left before Kansas went on a 10-2 run to finish the half. Five different players scored during the spurt.
The run was nearly derailed when Releford was called for a flagrant offensive foul, much to Self's chagrin. But the Bears' Deuce Bello badly missed two free throws, and Jackson was stuffed on a drive to the basket to leave Kansas ahead 33-20 at the break.
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 Walton and Gary Franklin.
It was the closest the Bears had been since halftime.
Kansas again stretched the lead on a couple 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 and converted a three-point play as the shot-clock was expiring.
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.
"My heart dropped, to see something like that. You don't want to see nothing bad happen to him," Johnson said. "I think he moreso panicked than anything. That has a lot to do with it sometimes. I think he'll be all right. Ben will bounce back."
Updated January 15, 2013
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with Herm Edwards on the Pats, Stevan Ridley, and a great many things around the NFL.
We stir up a pot of crap when we debate the world cup and the popularity of soccer... pro callers, con-callers, plus Jack Edwards!
We tackle four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.More from this show
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.More from this show
Jackie Mac joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Rajon Rondo, the Celtics, and the Jacoby Ellsbury deal with the Yankees.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.More from this show