No. 4 Lady Bears blow past winless Owls

Kristy Wallace, a sophomore guard from Loganholme, Queensland, Aust., drives towards the basket in the game against Rice. Penelope Shirey, photographer Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

By Meghan Mitchell, Reporter

The No. 4 Lady Bears continued their winning ways Wednesday at the Ferrell Center, beating the Rice Owls 89-38.

The Owls (0-6) looked to capture their first win of the season but were unable to do so against the undefeated Bears (7-0).

“We played a really great team tonight,” said Owls head coach Tina Langley. “It was a great opportunity for our young team to come down and experience this environment.”

The Lady Bears came off a tough victory last Saturday against No. 20 Michigan State in the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. Baylor’s level of play proved to be too high for the Owls Wednesday night.

The Lady Bears started the game pushing the ball down the court, taking the momentum and a commanding 23-5 lead in the first quarter.

Adding to sophomore guard Kristy Wallace’s seven points in the first quarter, the Lady Bears had a 58.8 shooting percentage and were two for two on three-pointers.

Going into the second quarter, the Owls tried to find their way back into the game. Missed layups and botched open looks for the Lady Bears allowed the Owls to do just that in the second quarter.

Coming out of halftime, the Lady Bears found their first quarter form, outscoring the Owls 24-6 in the third quarter.

“I thought, both halves, the groups that started were focused, “ said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey.

Junior post Khadijiah Cave recorded a double-double in just three quarters.

With 10 rebounds and 19 points, Cave’s performance helped the Bears take a massive 62-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Bears’ quick pace and big presence were too much for the Owls.

Baylor was able to run away with the win in the second thanks to the offense taking better care of the ball than it did in the first half. The Bears had six turnovers in the first half but zero in the second half.

“It starts with discipline. It starts at practice,” senior guard Niya Johnson said. “Every time we turned the ball over, we had to run a lap.”

Despite the blowout, the Lady Bears would not leave the game unscathed. Freshman post Beatrice Mompremier went out late in the first quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

“Beatrice has the issue with her shoulder,” Mulkey said. “She’s always had it. It just popped out and came back in. We just need to get her ready for Florida in a couple weeks. She can play with it. I’ve seen her tape it up and play with it her entire career.”

In Mompremier’s absence, freshman forward Justis Szczepanski played her first minutes in her collegiate career Wednesday night.

“There were definitely butterflies,” Szczepanski said. “It was great to be out there with my team and contribute in any way that I could.”

“It’s good to have her out there, it adds another dimension to our team,” Mulkey said.

In the end, the Owls had no matchup for the Lady Bears in the paint, allowing the Lady Bears to score 62 in the paint.

The 6-foot-7 freshman post Kalani Brown and 6-foot-5 senior post Kristina Higgins dominated with a combined 19 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bears next test comes at home Friday night where they take on Northwestern State.