By Jeffrey Swindoll
It was a blowout in Waco last time the Lady Bears played Texas Tech, but being away from home changed the dynamic of the matchup in Lubbock.
Texas Tech looked much better than in their 92-43 loss against the same Lady Bears team a week ago, but it was still not enough against Baylor, who ended up winning 75-58 on Wednesday night at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock.
Baylor (21-3, 11-1) shot 4-for-6 from the free-throw line, giving the Lady Bears a much needed boost against an energetic Texas Tech (6-18, 0-13) team in the first half.
Texas Tech was perhaps a little too energetic in the first half, as they sent the Lady Bears to the line often, putting them into the bonus with plenty of time on the clock. Sending a consistent free-throw team can come with damaging consequences to a team’s chances of winning.
Baylor did not give up easy fouls as Texas Tech was sent to line only three times by Baylor in the first half. Freshman forward Nina Davis was the only one to commit two fouls in the first half.
Another huge lift for Baylor in the first half was its shooting from downtown. Senior guard Odyssey Sims and freshman guard Imani Wright made some big threes for Baylor in the first half.
One big difference from the first half in Waco compared to the first half in Lubbock was turnovers. Baylor turned the ball over eight times against Texas Tech at the Ferrell Center. In Lubbock, the Lady Bears already accumulated five turnovers before half.
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey recognized her team’s carelessness with the ball, called a timeout and regrouped her team for the last five minutes of the half. At this point of the game in Waco, the game was already over as Baylor went up by more than 20 points.
That was not the case in Lubbock. Texas Tech gave The Lady Bears a run for their money and it showed in the scoreline. Baylor led 31-23 at the half.
Sims went into the locker room with 12 points and an assist to her name. Junior post Sune Agbuke and Davis tied for Baylor’s second top scorer in the first half with six points apiece.
Texas Tech evenly spread its points in the first half. Freshman guard Minta Spears led her team with six points in the first half. Her teammates followed close behind as freshman guard Jasmine Caston posted five points, and junior guard Amber Battle had four points before halftime.
The second half saw a much different performance from both teams. The Lady Bears were the ones fouling often like Texas Tech did in the first half.
Davis came into the half with two fouls and ended the game with the most fouls of any player. One foul away from fouling out, Davis watched the game from the sidelines longer than usual for her. Even with not as many minutes played, Davis still managed to earn another double-double in her 20th game this season with double figures.
Davis was not the only Lady Bear in foul trouble, sophomore post Kristina Higgins and Wright each finished with three fouls, and sophomore guard Niya Johnson fouled two times.
Texas Tech had three players with double-digit scoring, more than Baylor. Caston with 19, Spears with 14 and Battle with 13 points were not enough to topple the Lady Bears.
Sims continues to lead the nation in points per game after putting up 30 against Texas Tech. Johnson continues to be a primary distributor for the team as she earned eight points and eight assists on Wednesday.
The Lady Bears continue their road trip to face their rivals, the Texas Longhorns, at 12 p.m. Sunday in Austin. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.