Lawrence, KS - Perry Ellis poured in 18 points in eighth- ranked Kansas' 78-68 win over No. 24 Baylor in a Big 12 clash between teams trending in opposite directions.
Andrew Wiggins made 10-of-12 from the foul line and scored 17 for Kansas (14-4, 5-0 Big 12), which capped a stretch of four straight games against ranked opponents unscathed. The Jayhawks have won five in a row and eight of nine overall.
"I thought that even though our defense wasn't great tonight I thought it was nice to have energy feeding our run. If we could have secured a defensive board we would have put up some numbers, but we couldn't secure anything," said Kansas coach Bill Self.
Baylor (13-5, 1-4) meanwhile has dropped four of five after entering conference play with a 12-1 mark, which included a Dec. 6 victory over then third-ranked Kentucky.
"I'm proud of our effort. At the end of the day losing is tough, we'll keep working to get better," said Baylor coach Scott Drew. "That's what you have to love about the Big 12, though. Every night you get a chance to play against a great team and a team that is going to help your RPI out."
Brady Heslip hit six 3-pointers en route to a game-high 19 points while Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson donated 16 points apiece in the setback.
Baylor made its first four shots from the arc, including a pair of Heslip treys on consecutive possessions for an early 13-8 advantage. Heslip hit two more triples in the period, which featured 12 lead changes.
Joel Embiid's thunderous alley-oop from Frank Mason at 3:55 gave Kansas a 31-28 edge. The hosts then took their biggest lead of the first half on Wayne Selden's 3 with less than a minute to play, but Jefferson answered with an outside shot of his own. Wiggins split a pair at the line and Kenny Chery's runner missed long as the half came to a close with Kansas in front, 37-35.
Neither team led by more than five points in a balanced first 20 minutes.
The lead stretched to 41-35 as Baylor was held without a bucket over the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half. Austin hit a pair of jumpers, including a triple that he banked in, to cut into the deficit, but Kansas responded with nine straight points for a 55-44 margin.
Ellis scored seven during the spurt, and Selden made the play of the game when he launched himself out of bounds to save the ball for Embiid, whose hook shot was pure at 11:19.
A pair of Selden free throws two minutes later gave the Jayhawks a double digit lead, and it held until Jefferson's jumper at 2:01. The Bears never got closer than nine though. With 59 seconds to play, Frank Mason drove late in the shot clock and snuck a pass to Ellis, who slammed it home with two hands to put an exclamation mark on Kansas' triumph.
Kansas now leads the all-time series, 20-4, and improved to 12-0 in Lawrence ... Embiid had 12 points while Mason finished with nine points and six assists ... Chery handed out a game-high eight assists ... Baylor shot 13-of-27 from 3-point range. The Bears have made at least one 3 in 712 straight games ... Both teams had 16 turnovers.