WACO, Texas — Pierre Jackson had 28 points and 10 assists as Baylor finished the regular season with an 81-58 victory over Kansas on Saturday to keep the fourth-ranked Jayhawks from the outright Big 12 regular-season title.
Cory Jefferson added 25 points for Baylor (18-13, 9-9 Big 12), the 6-foot-9 junior forward combining his usual powerful dunks with his first three career 3-pointers.
Even after its worst loss in seven years, Kansas (26-5, 14-4) will still be the No. 1 seed for next week’s conference tournament in Kansas City, and now has at least a share of the last nine Big 12 regular-season titles. The Jayhawks had won the previous four outright, but have to share this one with rival Kansas State.
Ben McLemore had 23 points for Kansas, whose only lead came when the freshman made a layup only 5 seconds into the game.
The Jayhawks, who had a seven-game winning streak, knew they already had at least a piece of the Big 12 title after ninth-ranked Kansas State (25-6, 14-4) lost 76-70 earlier Saturday at No. 13 Oklahoma State. But the KU loss gave the rival Wildcats a share of their first regular-season conference title since 1977 in the Big Eight.
McLemore scored off the opening tip, but that gave the Jayhawks no momentum. Baylor scored the next six points, including a two-handed slam dunk by Jefferson, and never trailed again.
Kansas used an 11-0 run in the second half to get within 61-55 with 6:23 left after consecutive baskets by Perry Ellis, who finished with 12 points.
But Jackson then stole a ball from McLemore, and Baylor’s point guard drove for a layup made between two defenders. After Ellis missed a shot, Jackson got the ball and made a pass ahead to Brady Heslip for an easy layup.
The Bears kept piling on after that, and because of that could still have a shot at an at-large NCAA berth with a couple of wins at the Big 12 tournament.
Baylor had lost six of its previous seven games and was already locked in as the No. 6 seed in the Big 12 tournament. The Bears play Oklahoma State on Thursday night in Kansas City — they split their two regular-season matchups.
Kansas, which has won an NCAA-best overall conference regular-season title, plays Thursday against the West Virginia-Texas Tech winner.
Jackson and Jefferson both made 11 of 13 field goals. A.J. Walton added 12 points for Baylor and Isaiah Austin had 11 for Baylor.
Jefferson had a pair of early dunks before hitting the first 3-pointer of his career for a 22-13 lead. He was 0 for 7 from long range before that.
Jefferson had 18 points by halftime, including a 3-pointer for the last points of the half. That came on the possession right after he took a charging foul that wiped out a basket by Elijah Johnson.
Jackson had 13 points in the first half, including a quick spurt of seven points.
The Jayhawks had closed to 12-11 on a layup by Ellis with just under 14 minutes left before Jackson scored three times in a span of 1:16, hitting a jumper from the top of the key before a 3-pointer and then a layup.
Baylor’s lead was 24-15 when Jefferson had a stutter-step move and made a short hook shot. Johnson then scored seven in a row for the Jayhawks, including a 3-pointer and a leaner when he got a roll before Jackson’s baseline layup ended that spurt.
Big 12 Conference
At Waco, Texas
Baylor 81, No. 4 Kansas 58
Young 0-2 0-0 0, Withey 3-3 2-4 8, Johnson 3-13 3-4 10, McLemore 8-16 2-3 23, Releford 1-6 0-0 2, Tharpe 1-6 0-0 2, Adams 0-0 1-4 1, White III 0-2 0-0 0, Wesley 0-0 0-0 0, Roberts 0-0 0-0 0, Traylor 0-1 0-0 0, Ellis 5-7 2-2 12. Totals 21-56 10-17 58.
Jefferson 11-13 0-2 25, Austin 3-7 5-6 11, Heslip 2-4 0-0 5, Walton 3-8 6-9 12, Jackson 11-13 4-5 28, Rose 0-0 0-0 0, Gathers 0-1 0-0 0, Franklin 0-1 0-0 0, Bello 0-3 0-0 0, Neubert 0-2 0-2 0, Prince 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-52 15-24 81.
Halftime—Baylor 37-28. Three-point goals—Kansas 6-19 (McLemore 5-9, Johnson 1-6, Releford 0-2, White III 0-2), Baylor 6-12 (Jefferson 3-3, Jackson 2-3, Heslip 1-3, Franklin 0-1, Walton 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Kansas 33 (Withey 8), Baylor 34 (Austin, Jefferson 7). Assists—Kansas 11 (Ellis, Johnson, McLemore, Releford 2), Baylor 17 (Jackson 10). Total fouls—Kansas 19, Baylor 16. A—9,695.