By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor women’s basketball defeated TCU Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center by a score of 77-54.
The Lady Bears (16-1, 5-0) were dominant in the paint, scoring 44 points down low while holding the Horned Frogs (8-8, 0-5) to just 14 points in the paint.
Baylor was stifling on defense as well, forcing TCU into 18 turnovers and scoring 23 points off those takeaways.
TCU head coach Raegan Pebley praised the Lady Bears for their dominance, but said she expects more from her club.
“Baylor is going to be a really tough team for anyone in our conference to beat,” Pebley said. “But you through the ball up for a reason and you’ve got to believe.”
Senior guard Alexis Jones scored the first points for the Lady Bears on a mid-range jumper. TCU guard Jada Butts responded with a three-pointer to get the Horned Frogs on the board.
A basket by Baylor’s Kalani Brown and back-to-back threes by Jones increased the Lady Bears’ lead to 10-3, but TCU guard AJ Alix canned a three to stop the Lady Bears’ run.
Butts kept the Horned Frogs close in the first quarter, scoring eight points. Baylor forward Lauren Cox responded with two inside baskets, putting the Lady Bears up 18-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Baylor guard Alexis Prince started the second quarter hot, scoring on two jumpers and a transition layup. Cox added six points of her own to increase the Baylor lead to 30-20.
A transition layup by TCU guard Amber Ramirez star and a three from Alix brought the Horned Frogs within five with just three minutes left in the half.
The Lady Bears finished the half with strong post play from senior Khadijiah Cave and sophomore Beatrice Mompremier, each scoring four points to vault Baylor to a 40-27 halftime advantage.
In the first half, Baylor shot 42.9% from the floor while holding TCU to just 29% shooting. Butts was the lead scorer at halftime for the Horned Frogs with 10 points while Jones led the Lady Bears with 11.
Butts drew the foul on a drive to start the second half and knocked down both free throws. Cox responded with a couple of jumpers in the lane to extend the Baylor lead to 44-31.
With the shot clock winding down, Ramirez launched a long three that cut Baylor’s lead to 13, but four straight free throw makes from Cox and freshman guard Natalie Chou made it 51-34.
The Lady Bears extended their lead to 20 when Mompremier swatted the Horned Frog’s shot attempt leading to a wide-open layup by Baylor forward Nina Davis. TCU guard Toree Thompson converted one of two free throws to end the third quarter with Baylor leading 58-39.
Baylor guard Kristy Wallace opened scoring in the fourth period with a three, but Ramirez responded with a long ball to make it a 61-42 game. Back-to-back layups by Davis gave the Lady Bears a 23-point lead, but Butts responded with a three to cut the lead to 65-45 with six minutes remaining in the game.
Cox sealed the game for Baylor, scoring on a layup and making one of two free throws with one minute left as the Lady Bears won 77-54.
Cox’s 19 points were the third highest total in a single game in her career. Additionally, her 88.9% shooting from the field is her single game best.
“My shots were definitely falling tonight,” Cox said. “I flashed whenever I could to the open spot and my teammates got me the ball.”
The Horned Frogs tied Baylor on the boards despite the Lady Bears averaging a plus-27 rebounding margin on the season.
“They dominated the boards,” said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. “They packed in the zone so the bigs couldn’t move. They made us shoot perimeter shots, but we won by 23. I’ll take that any day.”
The Lady Bears continue their Big 12 play at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday as they travel to Kansas to face the Jayhawks.