No. 1 Baylor women rout Texas Tech 100-61 in Big 12 quarters
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Baylor’s depth completely overwhelmed Texas Tech.
Kalani Brown and NaLyssa Smith scored 14 points each Saturday to help the top-ranked Lady Bears rout Texas Tech 100-61 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals.
Baylor’s bench outscored Texas Tech’s 52-0. Smith and Aquira DeCosta, who scored 10 points, led a freshman class that had 40 of the reserve points.
“I hate using the word bench because those kids could start for us,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “They’re all that good. It’s just y’all don’t get to see them. They’re freshmen, and what you saw today is the future here.”
The freshmen understand their roles when they go in.
“We’ve got to do what we can do and we’ve got to rest our starters for bigger and better things down the road,” Smith said.
Graduate transfer Chloe Jackson and sophomore Moon Ursin scored 12 points apiece for Baylor (29-1).
The Lady Bears had seven players reach double figures — a record for a Big 12 Tournament game. Just one starter played in the fourth quarter for Baylor, yet the Lady Bears outscored the Lady Raiders 28-17 in the final quarter to close out their 21st straight win.
“You’re having fun when everybody is scoring and everybody is getting to play,” Brown said. “You don’t lose no energy.”
Baylor shot 57 percent in its third 100-point game of the season. It was just the third time since 2001 that a team scored at least 100 points in a Big 12 Tournament game.
“They’re No. 1 in the country for a reason,” Texas Tech coach Marlene Stollings said. “They played like it today. They’re so physical. They’re so deep and they’re so long and athletic that they’re hard to go against.”
Chrislyn Carr, the conference Freshman of the Year, scored 25 points for Texas Tech. Sydney Goodson scored 16 points and Brittany Brewer had 13 for the Lady Raiders (14-17).
Texas Tech led 8-6 just over four minutes into the game, but the Lady Raiders made just one field goal the rest of the first quarter. Baylor held Tech to 25 percent shooting in the period to lead 18-10.
The Lady Bears shot 63 percent in the second quarter to take a 45-25 lead at the break. The lead ballooned to 72-44 at the end of the third quarter after Baylor began making long passes after rebounds and finding players ahead of the pack.
Freshman forward Caitlin Bickle hit a 3-pointer with about a minute to play to put the Lady Bears at 100 points.
Baylor advanced to play Kansas State in a semifinal Sunday. Kansas State defeated West Virginia 72-59 earlier Saturday. Baylor won 65-50 at Kansas State on Jan. 9 and won the rematch at home 71-48 on Feb. 13.
Baylor: The Lady Bears showed no mercy on an inferior opponent. Baylor ran out to a 45-18 lead in the second quarter and controlled the game from there.
Texas Tech: Given the regular-season scores against Baylor — losses of 73-56 and 96-37 — this was no surprise. But the future looks bright: Carr will return, and so will Brewer, who dropped 40 points on Oklahoma on Friday night.
“I’m proud of our team, the young women and the start of something special brewing in Lubbock,” Stollings said.
Baylor’s starting front line of 6-foot-7 Brown and 6-foot-4 Lauren Cox — the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year — helped Baylor limit Tech to 9 for 31 shooting inside the 3-point line. Tech made 12 of 29 3-pointers.
SHE SAID IT
Mulkey, known for her intensity, joking about her coaching style: “Well, I’m very mild. I’m very meek. I’m very passive, and they want to play for a coach that’s like that.”
Texas Tech’s season is over.
Baylor plays Kansas State on Sunday in the Big 12 semifinals.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP