Lady Bears dominate TCU 83-63 in 20th straight win

Story by Bailey Brammer | Editor-in-Chief, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter

Capping off a huge day for Baylor sports in Waco with wins from men’s basketball, softball, men’s tennis and equestrian, the No. 3 women’s basketball team took down No. 24 TCU 83-63 Saturday night in the Ferrell Center.

Saturday’s victory marks the Lady Bears’ (23-1, 12-0) 20th consecutive win this season, and 23rd straight win over TCU (16-8,7-6). Baylor held onto its No. 1 ranking in the Big 12 and remains undefeated in conference play.

Strong performances from the Lady Bears included junior center Kalani Brown, who led the team with 23 total points, along with sophomore forward Lauren Cox, who picked up a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Juicy Landrum was named Player of the Game and recorded 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Landrum had five of the Lady Bears’ seven three-pointers, with the other two coming from freshman guard Alexis Morris.

“She’s just stepped right in with Natalie’s (Chou) wrist injury,” said Kim Mulkey, Baylor head coach. “It’s important that Juicy just understands to shoot it. Nobody’s going to tell you not to shoot it. She’s just playing with a lot of confidence right now. If you’re going to play 27, 30 minutes a game, you’re going to have to give us more than just the three ball.”

TCU also had seven three-pointers, but was beaten by Baylor in the paint 42-28. The Lady Bears also recorded 42 total rebounds, 31 of which were defensive, compared to TCU’s 31 total rebounds. Baylor also relied on teamwork through assists, putting up 28 in comparison to the Horned Frogs’ nine.

The matchup began with a jump shot by TCU junior center Jordan Moore, and the Lady Bears quickly responded with a three-pointer from Landrum. A few more points from Baylor, including two field goals and one free throw from Brown set the Lady Bears up 10-4 with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter.

Baylor continued its defensive focus through the rest of the first quarter, holding TCU to just 10 points compared to the Lady Bears’ 21. The Horned Frogs also struggled with traveling in the first quarter and had two violations called on them, along with seven personal fouls.

Freshman guard Didi Richards, who has been making a name for herself as a new player to watch this season, also made it on the board with just over one minute in the first quarter with a jump shot, assisted by senior guard Kristy Wallace.

“I though Didi Richards was big for us in the first half,” Mulkey said. “She was getting over screens … Didi is so active defensively.”

Baylor carried on its defensive domination in the second quarter and increased its lead with two three-pointers from Landrum and one from Morris.

TCU received another traveling violation about halfway through the second quarter, and despite three-pointers from forwards Ella Hellessey and Dakota Vann, the Horned Frogs could not catch up to the Lady Bears and ended the first half trailing 44-24.

Breaking into the third quarter, Baylor upped its lead by 15 points in just over five minutes, bringing the score to 59-37.

Landrum continued to look for threes, and notched two more in the third quarter, sending her game total to five. Landrum boasts the second highest there-pointer percentage for the Lady Bears with 44.4 percent, ranked just under Morris who shoots 48.6 percent.

Baylor also relied on defensive rebounds in the third quarter, snatching the Horned Frogs’ missed shots and using that defense to hold onto their lead by a 28-point margin heading into the final quarter.

With a three-pointer from Morris and two points each from Cox and Brown, the Lady Bears increased the gap to a 33-point margin early in the fourth with a score of 75-42.

Defensively, the Lady Bears gave up 23 points in the fourth quarter, and slowed down a bit in the last few minutes of the game, only recording two free throws from Brown and a jump shot from Wallace. TCU made one final effort with another two points from Hellessey with just 20 seconds left to bring the final score to 83-63.

“TCU has always been a difficult team, they’re a great team, and they had a lot of post players they threw at us,” Brown said. “They had different skill sets, but it was something that we worked on all week, so [it was] something we expected.”

The Lady Bears will look for their 21st consecutive win against No. 22 Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Stillwater, Okla.