No. 4 Baylor women open season with 100-39 win over Nicholls
WACO, Texas (AP) — Preseason AP All-America post Kalani Brown scored the first four points for fourth-ranked Baylor, which opened the season by scoring the first 24 points and had seven players in double figures on the way to a 100-39 victory over Nicholls State on Tuesday night.
Brown finished with 13 points, matching Moon Ursin for the team high. The 6-foot-7 Brown also had four rebounds while playing only 18 minutes. All 11 players who saw action for the Big 12 champion Lady Bears scored multiple points and had at least one rebound.
Cassidy Barrios had 20 points and nine rebounds for Nicholls State. The senior guard was the leading scorer last season at 17.3 points a game for the Colonels, who were an NCAA Tournament team after winning the Southland Conference tournament. Their season ended with a loss to No. 1 seed Mississippi State.
DiDi Richards set a career-high with 12 points for Baylor, and freshman Caitlin Bickle also had 12. Newcomers Chloe Jackson, NaLyssa Smith and Queen Egbo all had 10 points.
Lauren Cox, the 6-4 junior who with Brown makes up maybe the best post combo in the nation, had nine points, seven rebounds and a game-high six assists in 19 minutes.
Coach Kim Mulkey opened her 19th season at Baylor, where she has led the Lady Bears to two national titles and nine Big 12 conference season titles — including the last eight.
Nicholls State: Barrios is one of three returning starters for Nicholls State, which won 19 games last season. The Colonels were overmatched as expected against Baylor. The 5-10 Barrios was the tallest starter going against a Baylor starting five that included Brown, Cox and 6-1 Richards.
Baylor: With the graduation of Kristy Wallace and the offseason dismissal of Alexis Morris for an unspecified violation of team rules, the Lady Bears went into the season unsure at point guard. Jackson, a graduate transfer from LSU, got the starting nod in the opener. Jackson had 10 points and five assists in 26 minutes.
Nicholls State plays another major conference school on the road. The Colonels are at Auburn on Friday.
Baylor has another home game Thursday against Saint Francis of Pennsylvania. The Lady Bears then head west to play Arizona State at Fort Defiance, Arizona, near the Navajo Nation’s capital.
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