WACO, Texas (AP) - Marcus Morris had time to stop and briefly look around before hitting an open 3-pointer. A couple of minutes later, 6-foot-10 twin brother Markieff hit from nearly the same spot. Then Marcus drove the baseline for a scooping reverse layup.
That was just how good things went for the Morris twins and second-ranked Kansas in the first half against Baylor.
Off to a big lead after a nearly perfect first half, the Jayhawks went on to an 85-65 victory Monday night to remain undefeated and end Baylor's 15-game home winning streak.
``That was by far the best we've played,' Kansas coach Bill Self said of the opening half. ``The twins were the best players in the game, but I really felt like everybody played well, especially in the first half.'
By halftime, Markieff Morris already had 15 points, making all seven of his shots, and Marcus Morris was 6-of-7 shooting for 13 points as Kansas led 53-32. The Jayhawks picked apart Baylor's zone defense by shooting 79 percent (23 of 29) with 28 points in the paint and 16 off of turnovers.
``We could have not missed any shots, that would be better,' Marcus Morris said with a sly grin. ``We missed some shots, but that was one of the best first halves we've played all season. That was the best basketball we've played all season.'
Kansas (18-0, 3-0 Big 12), No. 1 Ohio State (18-0) and No. 6 San Diego State (19-0) are the only undefeated teams left. Third-ranked Syracuse lost for the first time earlier Monday, 74-66 at fifth-ranked Pittsburgh.
The Jayhawks were coming off a three-game stretch that included an overtime victory at Michigan and winning their first two conference games by a combined eight points. Despite some sloppy play in the second half, they never really had to worry about a close call against Baylor (12-5, 2-2).
``We were all embarrassed by our first-half performance,' said Bears coach Scott Drew, whose team went to an NCAA regional final last season. ``Give Kansas a lot of credit for coming out and punching us in the face. ... This is the first time in a long time we've been beat this handily.'
Baylor is 5-5 since mid-December after peaking at No. 9 in the AP poll, its highest-ever ranking.
Perry Jones, the freshman standout who led Baylor with 20 points, called the Morris twins ``very efficient.'
``They just play hard, they're a good combination,' Jones said. ``They know how to work together.'
Marcus Morris finished with 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Markieff had 19 going 9-of-10 to lead five Kansas players in double figures.
``I think we could beat anybody in the country if you ask me,' Marcus Morris said. ``You never count us out.'
This is Kansas' best start since winning its first 20 games three years ago.
Anthony Jones had 17 points for Baylor and LaceDarius Dunn 13, nine below his Big 12-leading scoring average.
Dunn, who came in leading the nation with 4.2 3-pointers a game, had only one. And that came in the closing seconds to stretch his school-record streak to 31 games in row hitting a long-range shot.
The Bears used a 13-3 run to cut the gap to 61-49 with 13 minutes left, and appeared to have a chance to get even closer after J'Mison Morgan forced a turnover by Marcus Morris.
With a record home crowd of 10,596 screaming in anticipation for more, Baylor went for the spectacular play - and A.J. Walton's ally-oop pass to Dunn was off the mark. That led to a breakaway layup for Josh Selby, and the Bears never got closer.
``A bad decision on my end,' Walton said.
Self said his team ``caught a big break' with that sequence.
``All of a sudden, we kind of regrouped after that,' Self said.
Selby added 12 points for Kansas, which finished shooting 62 percent (35 of 56). Tyrel Reed had 11 points and Mario Little 10.
Tyshawn Taylor's layup with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half put Kansas up 32-21, and the Jayhawks stayed ahead by double digits the rest of the game.
Thomas Robinson then had a one-handed putback slam of his own miss. Selby then had a steal and missed a 3-pointer, but Markieff Morris grabbed the rebound and slammed it back through. Selby didn't miss on a layup after that, even though he got hit in the face without a foul being called while driving to the hoop.
Taylor scooped a pass to Marcus Morris for a dunk that made it 40-25, then Marcus added a short jumper when his brother tapped the ball to him. Selby's 3-pointer with 2:16 left made it 47-27.
The Associated Press News Service
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