Lady Bears make quick turnaround, defeat TCU 91-73

Photo credit: Dayday Wynn

By Jakob Brandenburg | Reporter

The second-ranked Baylor Lady Bears basketball team followed their second loss of the season with a 91-73 win at TCU Sunday afternoon. It was Baylor’s 22nd consecutive victory over TCU in women’s basketball.

Baylor had its 54-game home winning streak snapped by No. 11 Texas on Monday. The Lady Bears got back onto the court in Fort Worth and asserted their will against the Horned Frogs. Baylor, the nation’s top rebounding team, dominated TCU on the glass 54 to 30 and scored 29 second chance points.

Senior guard Alexis Prince led Baylor in scoring with 19 points. Prince added nine rebounds, which tied her with senior forward Nina Davis to lead the game. During the game Davis became the sixth player in program history to grab 1000 career rebounds.

After the game, Davis talked about how she’s compiled those stats despite being short for her position.

“Just heart,” Davis said. “Size really doesn’t matter. It’s your heart. It’s your toughness.”

Senior guard and All-American candidate Alexis Jones stuffed the box score with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

The most surprising stat of the game was that TCU tied Baylor in points in the paint with 36. When the two teams played in Waco earlier this year, the Lady Bears outscored the Horned Frogs 44-14 in the paint.

Baylor actually started the game sloppily. The Lady Bears committed four turnovers in the first quarter and missed seven of their first eight shots. Despite being the much shorter team, TCU scored eight of its 10 first quarter points in the paint. However, the Lady Bears closed the quarter on a 12 to two run and led 16-10 after the first period.

“We just have to play through it,” Davis said of the slow start. “Every game on the road is going to be tough, so we definitely have to give credit to TCU. I’m just proud of the way my team kept fighting and weathered the storm.”

Baylor extended its lead to as much as 15 points in the second quarter. TCU missed its first 10 3-point attempts before a make 14 minutes into the game.

At halftime, Baylor led 41-29. Both teams committed 10 turnovers, but the Lady Bears out-rebounded the Horned Frogs 24 to 12. Freshman guard Natalie Chou provided eight points off the bench for the Lady Bears in the first half. She finished the game with 14 points, and made four 3-pointers.

Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey talked about how Chou made the most of her time off the bench.

“I tell them all the time,” Mulkey said, “when I give you an opportunity off the bench, make it such that I can’t take you off the floor, and I couldn’t take Natalie off the floor.”

In a point-filled third quarter, the Horned Frogs outscored the Lady Bears 23-22 to chip into what was a 16-point lead. Still, Baylor led 63-52 heading into the fourth and final period.

During the fourth quarter, TCU cut the Baylor lead to single digits twice, but the Lady Bears answered with baskets of their own both times. Baylor pulled away as both teams exchanged fouls and easy baskets. Baylor’s largest lead of the game was the final 18-point differential.

Baylor committed 17 turnovers and missed about a dozen layups.

Despite the win, Mulkey said she believes the Lady Bears need to play better and cut out those kinds of mistakes.

“It’s very obvious that we’re struggling right now,” Mulkey said. “It’s almost that time of year when you hit a wall. We’ve got to find some leaders. They’re all looking for each other to lead and feeling sorry for themselves. You’ve got to find the tough-minded kids to help us get through it.”

The Lady Bears’ next chance to prove their focus and toughness is at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the Ferrell Center against Oklahoma State.