WACO, Texas (AP) — Kalani Brown and No. 1 Baylor aren’t letting up even though they have already locked up another Big 12 regular season title.
Brown had 19 points and 12 rebounds and the Lady Bears had an overwhelming 64-35 victory over Texas, the league’s second-place team, on Monday night in their first game since clinching their ninth consecutive regular season crown outright two days earlier.
“I think we just wanted to do better than when we went down there,” Brown said, referring to a 74-68 win at Texas three weeks earlier. “The guards did a wonderful job on guarding their guards and guarding the 3-point shot. We just went down on the other end and executed. I the defense, besides the offensive rebounds (by Texas), the defense was pretty solid.”
Baylor (26-1, 16-0 Big 12) won its 18th consecutive game overall, the nation’s longest active winning streak. The Lady Bears have won 39 consecutive Big 12 regular-season games, and 36 home games in a row overall since a loss to Texas two years ago.
Brown made two baskets in the game’s first minute to put the Lady Bears ahead to stay against Texas (21-7, 11-5), and the 6-foot-7 senior center went on to her 36th career double-double. There were also the last two baskets of the first half, on a couple of plays when point guard Chloe Jackson penetrated the lane and then passed inside to Brown.
“It was just a big momentum swing going into the half,” Jackson said.
“We just needed some energy,” Brown said. “And I think by me hitting those shots, everybody gets excited.”
The Longhorns, who were held to their lowest offensive output of the season, were within 18-16 on a jumper by Sug Sutton with 7:28 left in the second quarter. They didn’t score again until after halftime, missing their last eight shots with six turnovers before the break.
Baylor scored the final nine points of the first half for a 27-16 lead. Texas got the first basket after halftime, but the Lady Bears then scored 12 in a row. When Jackson missed a driving layup at the end of the third quarter, Brown grabbed the rebound and had a buzzer-beating putback that put Baylor up 52-26.
“Our team played pretty competitively for 20 minutes, aside from possibly that last couple of minutes it got away from us a little bit in the second quarter,” Texas coach Karan Aston said. “We tried to regroup at half, we had some real positive things to talk about. Talked about being a lot more aggressive offensively, I thought we were too passive offensively in the first half. Again, you have to give Baylor an enormous amount of credit for how good their defense is.”
Lauren Cox added 13 points with nine rebounds for Baylor. Chloe Jackson scored 12 and Juicy Landrum had 11.
Joyner Holmes led Texas, which shot only 20 percent (13 of 64) from the field, with nine points while playing only 16 minutes because of foul trouble.
After guaranteeing at least a share of their 10th overall Big 12 title with a 40-point win over Kansas in their previous home game last Wednesday, the Lady Bears assured they wouldn’t have to share it when they won at then-No. 20 Iowa State on Saturday.
Texas: The Longhorns are 0-4 against Top 10 teams this season. While they lead the 99-game series against Baylor 58-41, their only win the last 21 meetings was their win in Waco on Feb. 6, 2017. ... Texas is 5-26 all-time against No. 1 teams, with 13 consecutive losses in such games — eight of those to Baylor — since beating Tennessee in November 2004. ... Texas’ previous worst offensive showing this season was in a 67-49 home loss against Mississippi State on Dec. 2.
Baylor: The Lady Bears have two more games as they try to go undefeated in conference play for the fourth time. They went without any Big 12 losses in 2012 (their last national title), 2013 and last year. If Baylor wins the next two games, it will have to wait until next year for a chance to break its record streak of 44 consecutive Big 12 wins set from 2011-14.
SOMETHING TO WORK ON
While the Longhorns missed a lot of shots, they grabbed 26 offensive rebounds and turned those into 13 second-chance points. Baylor coach Kim Mulkey certainly noticed that.
“You can bet I’m going to harp on that. If you subtract those 13 points from their 35 what it could have been,” Mulkey said. “I’m going to harp on those offensive boards that they got.”
Texas plays its final home game of the regular season Saturday against Iowa State.
Baylor is home Saturday against Oklahoma State before wrapping up the regular season March 4 at West Virginia.