By Max Calderone | Sports Writer
The No. 3 Baylor Lady Bears (24-1, 14-0) picked up their 21st consecutive victory Tuesday with a 87-45 win over No. 21 Oklahoma State (18-7, 9-5) in Stillwater, Okla.
Baylor senior center Kalani Brown had a double-double before halftime, finishing with 20 points and 23 rebounds to lift the Lady Bears over the Cowgirls.
Strong offensive contributions from senior forward Dekeiya Cohen, who scored a career-high 20 points, and senior guard Kristy Wallace, who added another 18, were crucial to Baylor’s success, as sophomore forward Lauren Cox had to sit much of the second half in foul trouble. Cohen, Wallace and Brown combined for 58 of the Lady Bears’ 87 total points.
Oklahoma State senior center Kaylee Jensen opened the scoring with a made three-pointer just 22 seconds in to the game, but it was all Baylor in the rest of the first quarter, as the Lady Bears went on a 16-2 run over the next seven minutes.
Shots just weren’t falling for the Cowgirls, as they only scored nine points in the first quarter. Baylor closed out the period with two points from freshman guard Alexis Morris at the free-throw line, which put the Lady Bears ahead 22-9.
Baylor extended its lead into the second quarter, with more layups from Brown, Wallace and Morris. Brown blocked a shot with 7:52 remaining in the second quarter and finished off the play at the offensive end, sinking a shot assisted by Cox, to push the lead to 28-9.
Oklahoma State senior guard and the Big 12 conference’s leading scorer Loryn Goodwin did her best to get the Cowgirls back in the game with a layup of her own, followed by two successful free-throws at the 6:39 mark, but Baylor continued to pull ahead thanks to strong defense.
The Cowgirls scored just two points over a four-minute stretch in the middle of the second quarter, a Jensen jumper, while the Lady Bears knocked down six shots, including three consecutive by Cohen to put them up 42-16.
Oklahoma State then went on a run of its own, scoring seven unanswered points before Wallace hit a jumper with 28 seconds remaining. No more baskets would be scored as Baylor took a 44-23 lead to halftime.
The Lady Bears held Jensen to just three of 14 shooting in the first half. Oklahoma State shot a measly 19 percent with only seven made attempts compared to Baylor’s 57 percent.
Brown picked up the first points of the second half for the Lady Bears as the two teams traded buckets for the first minute and a half of the third quarter.
With 8:11 left in the third, Cox was issued a technical foul, her fourth personal, leaving Brown as the only post-player on the floor for the Lady Bears. Oklahoma State senior forward Mandy Coleman made three of the four free-throws to cut the defecit to 18.
But Brown answered with two free-throws of her own, sparking a 8-0 run that included a Wallace jumper and two Cohen layups, increasing the Baylor lead to 56-30. Jensen snapped the streak with 4:52 left in the third after drilling a layup for the Cowgirls.
The Lady Bears continued to flex their muscles, converting all eight attempts from the charity stripe in the third quarter, and began the fourth ahead 69-41.
Baylor kept firing to start the fourth, sinking three straight layups by Cohen, Brown and sophomore guard Juicy Landrum to push the lead to 75-41. Morris added four of her 13 total points in the last two and a half minutes to put the game away for the Lady Bears.
The Cowgirls’ shooting woes continued throughout the game and into the fourth quarter, scoring just four points in the final period and ending the night with a shooting percentage of just over 21 percent. Baylor was dominant on the boards all night long, snatching 57 rebounds to Oklahoma State’s 28.
Up next, the Lady Bears will take on Kansas at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center.