No. 3 Baylor women roll past TCU 85-53 for 24th straight win
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Now that the road portion of their Big 12 schedule is finished, the Baylor Lady Bears are ready to get home and celebrate another conference championship.
Kristy Wallace scored 19 points, Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox had double-doubles and No. 3 Baylor won its 24th straight game, rolling past TCU 85-53 on Saturday night.
Brown had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Cox reversed that with 11 points and 12 boards in the first game for the Lady Bears (27-1, 17-0 Big 12) since clinching their eighth straight Big 12 title with a win at sixth-ranked Texas.
After Baylor’s 24th straight win against the Horned Frogs (18-10, 9-8), all that’s left in the regular season is a home game against West Virginia on Monday night.
“Heck yeah, man,” coach Kim Mulkey said when asked whether there would be a Ferrell Center celebration. “They’ve already won a Big 12 championship, so win or lose, we are celebrating. We should, and I hope there will be a great crowd.”
Mulkey also noted a late start of 8 p.m. local time.
“We need people to let their kids stay up late regardless of school the next day,” she said. “Confetti will drop and balloons, playing songs and getting the trophy. Those are memories.”
Dekeiya Cohen had 16 points and eight rebounds after scoring a career-high 24 points against the Longhorns. Juicy Landrum also had 16 as Baylor got within a win of its third perfect Big 12 season under Mulkey.
Amy Okonkow led TCU with 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting as the Horned Frogs shot 30 percent and were outrebounded 50-30.
Baylor opened with a 13-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from Cox, her only attempt from long range in the game.
The Lady Bears finished the third quarter on a 16-4 run for their first 30-point lead at 69-39. Since a 20-point win at home against TCU, Baylor has won three of its past four games by at least 32 points.
“Them opening with a good lead, we had good shots, they just didn’t fall to start the game,” TCU coach Raegan Pebley said. “Baylor’s a team that forces you to have to play with little room for error.”
Baylor: While a third perfect Big 12 season under Mulkey would be impressive, the Big 12 dominance over the past eight seasons is more striking. The Lady Bears are 134-8 against the Big 12 since 2010-11, the season before they won their second national title under Mulkey with a 40-0 record.
TCU: While this season will go down as a step in the right direction in Pebley’s fourth year, the Horned Frogs have lost the momentum of back-to-back wins over ranked teams early in Big 12 play. They’ve lost five of seven, with three losses to ranked teams by an average of 26 points.
SOMETHING TO WORK ON
Wallace matched a season high with six of Baylor’s 12 turnovers. She had five against the Longhorns, making it the second time this season she’s had consecutive games with five and then six turnovers. “I think I was just forcing it, things that weren’t there,” said Wallace, who matched Landrum with a game-high five assists. “I got stuff to learn from this game.”
JUICY ON A ROLL
Landrum made her seventh straight start and had her third double-digit scoring game in that span. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 20 points in her first career start, going 5 of 10 from 3-point range. After missing all six long-range shots over the past three games combined, she was 2 of 6 against the Horned Frogs. “Having her on the wing is super important for our team,” Wallace said. “It’s just incredible what confidence does.”
The regular-season finales for both teams Monday, with TCU visiting Oklahoma State. The Big 12 Tournament starts Friday, but both teams have first-round byes.