WACO, Texas - Senior guard CeCe Harper led Kansas with 15 points, but it wasn't enough as the Jayhawks fell to No. 9 Baylor, 75-55, Sunday afternoon, inside the Ferrell Center.
Harper, a San Antonio, Texas native, also dished out seven assists, grabbed four rebounds and recorded two steals, as Kansas (7-7, 0-2 Big 12) was defeated by Baylor (12-1, 2-0 Big 12) in its first conference road game of the 2013-14 season.
Junior guard Asia Boyd also finished in double figure points for the Jayhawks, recording 12 points to go along with six rebounds. Freshman forward Jada Brown made the first start of her Kansas career and responded with a season-best eight rebounds and five points
Baylor was led by the leading scorer in the nation, senior guard Odyssey Sims, who finished with a game-high 30 points, to match her season average, and added five rebounds. Freshman forward Nina Davis also finished in double-figures for the Lady Bears, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
In her first start in Crimson and Blue, Brown delivered a three-point play on the Jayhawks first possession to take an early, 3-2, lead. The Lady Bears took the lead back on their next possession. With the Baylor lead at five, 12-7, freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez delivered a three pointer to bring Kansas within two. Sims answered with a three of her own on the other end and sparked a 5-0 run to help Baylor build its margin to seven, 17-10, and forced Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson to use her first timeout. The Jayhawks answered the bell out of the timeout, going on a 5-0 run of their own to pull within two, 17-15.
After a Baylor timeout, the Lady Bears regrouped for ten-straight points, capped off by a three-point play from Sims to take a 12-point lead, 27-15, with 4:42 left in the first half. Facing their biggest deficit of the first half, the Jayhawks fought back once again with six-straight points to cut the Baylor lead in half, with just over three minutes remaining in the half. Both teams battled back-and-forth late into the half, before a loose-ball foul with a second remaining put Sims at the free throw line to give the Lady Bears an eight-point lead going into the break, 32-24. Gardner led the Jayhawks with nine points in the first half, but it was the Kansas defense that kept it close, holding Baylor to its lowest halftime total of the season.
Coming out of the break, the Lady Bears showed why they are the ninth-ranked team in the country, hitting on four of their first six shots to take a 14-point lead with, 43-29, and force head coach Bonnie Henrickson to call her first timeout of the half with 17 minutes remaining. A Harper three, brought the Jayhawks as close as nine, 45-36, with 13:25 remaining, but that's as close as Kansas would get as Sims and the Lady Bears began to pull away and took the contest, 75-55. Despite the loss, the Kansas defense held Baylor to its lowest offensive output of the season, and 23 points under its season average of 98.6
The Jayhawks will return to the Lone Star State on Jan. 8, to take on TCU at 7 p.m. inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Fr. Keyla Morgan (6/6), Sr. CeCe Harper (9/30), Fr. Jada Brown (1/1), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (13/42) and Jr. Natalie Knight (14/67)
Makes Kansas' all-time record to 764-540.
Moves the Jayhawks' all-time conference record to 231-238.
Makes KU's all-time Big 12 record 108-170 and 51-99 in conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
Gives Baylor a 20-7 series advantage over the Jayhawks, including the last eight games. Kansas' last victory over the Lady Bears came on March 4, 2009, when KU defeated BU, 69-45, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Makes the Jayhawks all-time road record 368-387 and 45-90 on the road all-time under Henrickson.
Makes Henrickson's record to 165-142 at KU and 323-204 overall.
Makes KU to 23-50 under Henrickson during the month of January.
Makes the Jayhawks 4-2 during the 2013-14 season when playing on Sunday and 50-25 on the first day of the week under Henrickson.
Trailing by seven, 17-10, with 11:41 left in the first half, the Jayhawks used a 5-0 run to pull within two, 17-15, with 9:36 remaining in the half.
Facing their biggest deficit of the first half, 27-15, with 4:42 remaining, Kansas scored six straight to cut the Baylor lead in half, 27-21, with 3:07 left in the half.
The Kansas defense held Baylor to 32 points in the first half, which is the lowest total for the Lady Bears this season. BU's previous low total of 38, was against Northwestern State (11/22/13).
The Jayhawks' game against Baylor, marks the second time this season that Kansas has played an opponent ranked inside of the top 10. The previous game was against then No. 2 Duke (11/30/13) in the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
The Jayhawks two steals against the Lady Bears is the lowest total recorded in any game this season. Their previous low was three against Central Michigan (11/28/13).
Freshman Jada Brown made the first start of her Kansas career. Brown converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way on the Jayhawks first possession. Brown finished the game with new career bests in points (five) and rebounds (eight), eclipsing her previous marks of four and four against West Virginia (1/4/14) and Minnesota (11/20/13), respectively.
Junior forward Chelsea Gardner rejected three shots against the Lady Bears, bringing her within one block within 90 for her career and 10th on the all-time Kansas block's list.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.