By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
The No. 4-ranked Baylor Lady Bears basketball team defeated Oklahoma State 89-67 behind double-doubles from sophomore center Kalani Brown and senior forward Nina Davis.
The Lady Bears (25-2, 14-1) move into a tie atop the Big 12 standings with Texas ahead of Monday night’s showdown in Austin.
The Cowgirls (14-12, 4-11) kept it close in the first half but were unable to overcome the Baylor front court duo of Brown and Davis.
Davis said she felt that she played the way her team needed her to.
“I definitely felt like I was in a rhythm out there,” Davis said. “I just felt like I needed to be the spark that my team needs.”
Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said he’s not disappointed in his team despite the loss.
“I’m not totally displeased with the way we played,” Littell said. “We are a bit challenged offensively, but Baylor just makes you pay for every little miscue you make.”
Brown and Oklahoma State junior center Kaylee Jensen battled in the post early with Brown drawing two fouls on Jensen and converting at the free throw line to put the Lady Bears up 7-4.
The Lady Bears extended their lead as Brown continued to dominate, but the Cowgirls fought back into the game with help from junior forward Mandy Coleman who knocked down a step-back three and two free throws to make it a 19-14 Baylor lead at the end of the first quarter.
Junior forward Dekeiya Cohen provided a spark off the bench for Baylor in the second quarter, blocking a shot and dishing it to Brown for the fast break layup followed by an assist to junior guard Kristy Wallace to put the Lady Bears up 26-16.
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said Cohen, who has had a limited role this season, played well in the game today.
“She defended well, she altered some shots, she got some boards and she was very good today,” Mulkey said.
Outside shooting from Jensen and sophomore guard Karli Wheeler threatened a Cowgirls comeback, but Davis converted two-and-one plays to make it a 38-24 Baylor lead.
Davis scored 10 of her 12 points in the second quarter to guide the Lady Bears to a 43-31 advantage at halftime.
At the break, Brown led Baylor with 14 points and nine rebounds while Coleman had nine points for the Cowgirls.
Back-to-back threes from Wheeler cut the Baylor lead to just eight shortly into the third quarter, but Lady Bears senior guard Alexis Jones knocked down a corner three of her own to make it a 48-37 game.
Baylor attacked the basket as Davis scored on back-to-back driving layups, and Cohen scored in transition to put the Lady Bears up 59-45 with two minutes remaining in the third period.
Cohen knocked down two free throws to give Baylor a 63-47 lead with just one quarter of play remaining.
Much of the same play continued in the last quarter with Davis scoring on three straight inside plays to cap a 12-4 Baylor run and give the Lady Bears a 75-51 advantage with five minutes remaining as Mulkey pulled the starters.
Davis finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Brown posted 19 points and 12 rebounds. Wheeler led the Cowgirls with 18 points and five made 3-pointers.
The Lady Bears hit the road to take on Texas at 8 p.m. Monday in Austin.