By Jeffrey Swindoll
Sophomore forward Nina Davis, freshman guard Kristy Wallace shined and junior post Kristina Higgins shined in the No. 8 Lady Bears’ exhibition game versus Tarleton State on Monday night at the Ferrell Center. It was the second of two exhibition games ahead of the Lady Bears’ 2014-15 regular season. The Lady Bears defeated the TexAnns 102-41.
“I think we improved in some areas, but, honestly, we didn’t improve in some areas,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “We got to look at our zone and got to play more players than the other night [against Midwestern State].”
Davis had to sit out of the first exhibition game for team disciplinary reasons, and felt fresh as ever out on the court for the Lady Bears, Davis said. Davis led her team with 28 points in just 21 minutes played, shooting 12-13 and grabbing 4 rebounds in her first game back with the Lady Bears.
“It just feels great to be back,” Davis said. “Even though these games don’t count, they’re each important. They’re games that help us prepare for bigger games like Kentucky on Monday. Every game is big game.”
With senior post Sune Agbuke nursing a knee injury, Higgins’ role in the lineup is even more crucial this year, Mulkey said. Higgins expects to be more aggressive and versatile, specifically driving to the basket, she said after the game on Monday.
“On Saturday, coach Mulkey challenged me to take advantage of the opportunity I’ve been given,” Higgins said. “That’s all I was thinking about. Do what you’ve got to do, and just score the ball. Being in better shape allows me to move a lot faster than last year and in previous years.”
Higgins finished with 14 points and was at the end of two ‘and-1’ plays in the first half, lifting the crowd to its feet on both occasions. She made the initial basket, but was unable to convert it into three points at the foul line.
Overall, the Lady Bears struggled with making free throws. Mulkey said her team’s 11-22 free throw performance will not cut it later on in the season. Mulkey also criticized her teams lack of care with the ball in the second half.
Wallace and junior guard Niya Johnson combined for 22 of the Lady Bears’ 32 assists against Tarleton State. Wallace joined Davis, Higgins, sophomore guard Alexis Prince and sophomore post Khadijiah Cave in double digit scoring. With 14 points, Wallace was the only underclassmen on the Lady Bears’ roster to score in double figures.