Baylor Bears: Isaiah Austin Expands Range Against Kansas
The Baylor Bears have had a rough go of it in Big 12 Conference play. They find themselves in a 1-4 hole after losing on the road to Kansas 78-68. Unlike the previous conference road games, Baylor came to play for 40 minutes. The Bears ran into some phenomenal shooting from the Jayhawks (57.5 percent). When the Jayhawks weren’t making shots from the field they were burying free-throws at the charity stripe. Kansas went 26-for-29 from the line. Kansas played mistake-free basketball by their standards and are virtually unbeatable at home.
Baylor played their hearts out Monday night but came up on the losing end of a hard-fought game. The reason the Bears were able to hang around against a Kansas team that was playing their ‘A game’ was due in large part to their three-point shooting. Baylor started the first half 8-for-10 from beyond the three-point arc, but the Bears would cool off to just 5-for-17 in the second-half. The great equalizer was not enough for Baylor to overtake Kansas, but it was enough to allow them to hang around.
One of the unexpected contributors from the perimeter was center Isaiah Austin as he was 4-for-8 from outside, and on Saturday Austin was 2-for-3 from long range. Before the last two games, Austin had only made one try from three-point land. His sudden emergence from three-point range in a three-day span of dismay is the shining glimmer of hope that the Bears need in their moment of struggle. Baylor, led by Austin, is a resilient bunch. Look for the Bears to get back to their winning ways against Texas on Saturday.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.