The No. 4 Lady Bears dominant performance in the second half allowed them to overpower Iowa State, 78-41.
“That’s a great team, everybody knows that,” said Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly. “Baylor played so hard on both ends of the court. They are going to go far in the tournament.”
“They are that massive. It’s incredible, they just keep bringing them in, they just reach over you and their guards rebound too. It’s a combination of their size and athleticism.”
“It’s a team that can find a lot of different ways to rebound, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team rebound like that before…sometimes you feel hopeless and theirs nothing you can do about it sometimes.”
With the day celebrating the Lady Bears’ 10th annual “Sic ‘em For the Cure” the Lady Bears extended their win streak to 14, while remaining undefeated at home.
Although coming off a win at home, the Cyclones (13-13 4-10) struggled with consistency. While dominating the Lady Bears on the defensive end in the first half, they struggled to stop them in the second, which contributed to the Lady Bears to extend their lead 54-32 with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
To start the game it was a show of three for the Lady Bears (27-1, 14-1). Freshman forward Kalani Brown, senior guard Niya Johnson, and junior guard Alexis Jones stole the show for the Lady Bears in the first quarter. Combining to score all the points to put them up 17-9.
I thought that we did have a size advantage,” Brown said. “Something that we didn’t do well last time we played them was rebound so we concentrated on that in practice.”
Although holding the Lady Bears to only 13 points in the second quarter, the Cyclones were unable to capitalize on their end of the floor.
With more Lady Bears contributing in the second quarter they were able to extend their lead 30-19.
Junior guard Seanna Johnson sits as the second highest scorer in the Big 12 while averaging 16.6 points per game and 9.4 rebounds. However, the Lady Bears were able to hold her to 12 points and five rebounds on the game.
Coming back from the half the Lady Bears were able to find the holes in the Cyclones defense.
Outscoring the Cyclones 28-15 in the third, the Lady Bears shot at 63.2 percent from the field to extend their lead to 59-34.
Going into the fourth, the Cyclones offered nothing to stop the Lady Bears who had the momentum and crowd behind them.
The Lady Bears out rebounded the Cyclones by 39 rebounds, showing how their size and athleticism could be hurtful.
“I think if there is one consistent area of our team all year, I would say it is rebounding,” said head coach Kim Mulkey.
With a shot clock violation called on the Cyclones, Brown came down on the other end to make a layup.
“I’m not trying to be one dimensional, I’m trying to be versatile,” Brown said. “Confidence is going and we’re gelling as a team.”
With the Lady Bears with hot hands, Jones came down to hit another three to put the Lady Bears up 68-36 with 7:34 remaining in the regulation.
With all the momentum going their way, all the Lady Bears saw minutes and in the end the their depth was too much to handle.
The Lady Bears would take the game, 78-41.
Johnson came up two assists shy of a triple double, but was more concerned about the team and getting rest.
“It really didn’t matter to me,” Johnson said. “I was just trying to get rest cause we leave tomorrow for Oklahoma so I was just trying to get rest.”
“We try to be aggressive as much as we can. Coach Mulkey puts emphasis on rebounding from all positions. I try to do whatever it takes to help give my team the win.”
With a quick turnaround, the Lady Bears will be back on the road to face Oklahoma Monday 8 p.m.