Lady Bears hang onto winning streak, Big 12 lead at TCU

Baylor forward Nina Davis, left, and TCU forward Caitlin Diaz battle for a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) Photo credit: Associated Press

The No. 4 Baylor Lady Bears basketball team survived on the road against TCU on Wednesday in Fort Worth, 81-75. It was the first of two-game away stretch for Baylor.

The win keeps the Lady Bears in a dead heat for first place in the Big 12 standings with Texas and extends Baylor’s winning streak to 11 games.

Although leading by 25 at one point, the Horned Frogs gave their fans a thriller by cutting it down to seven with 18 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Lady Bears (23-1, 10-1) came out of the gates attacking, but were hindered by missed lay-ups and open looks at the goal, which allowed the Horned Frogs to remain close, 18-12.

The Horned Frogs (12-11, 4-8) have lost six of their last seven games, but were determined to not go down again without a fight.

With the Lady Bears leading the league with a shooting percentage of .491, head coach Kim Mulkey knew the value of making the perimeter shots.

“The challenge is to shoot the perimeter shot, and we can make the perimeter shot,” Mulkey said. “I don’t have a three player that can’t shoot the perimeter shots. You just have to step up and make them on the road.”

The Lady Bears were able to get the momentum going in the second quarter to outscore the Horned Frogs 21-13.

Coming back from the half, the Lady Bears continued to extend their lead.

Good looks in the paint and made outside shots allowed the Lady Bears to be up 63-38 going into the last 10 minutes of regulation.

However, everything shifted in the fourth quarter.

With the crowd behind them, the Horned Frogs took the momentum from the Lady Bears.

The Lady Bears were unable to stop senior guard Zahna Medley, who has averaged 15.5 points a game, and sophomore guard AJ Alix, who is averaging 11.1 points per game.

While Medley recorded 24 points, Alix also came up big for the Horned Frogs, scoring 18 points. But it was not enough to put them on top.

The Horned Frogs were resilient throughout the game, and, although they trailed early on they fought back.

The dominant and more experienced Lady Bears held off the Horned Frogs’ late push.

Junior forward Nina Davis was key for the Lady Bears’ success as she scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Although the points may not show for it, senior guard Niya Johnson produced 14 assists and eight rebounds, proving why she is one of the ten finalists for the Lieberman Award this year.

“She’s like a coach out their on the floor,” Mulkey said. “In the first conference game when we got beat by Oklahoma State and she didn’t play, we lost by seven, and she only averages seven points a game.”

The Lady Bears continue on the road at Texas Tech 2 p.m. Saturday in Lubbock.