Story by Ben Everett | Sports Writer, Video by Branson Hardcastle | Broadcast Reporter
No. 3-ranked Baylor women’s basketball took down Kansas 88-51 Saturday afternoon in the Ferrell Center to notch its 22nd straight win.
The Lady Bears (25-1, 15-0) picked up their ninth straight win over the Jayhawks (11-15, 2-13) behind 26 points from senior guard Kristy Wallace.
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey had no shortage of compliments for Wallace’s play.
“Use every adjective you can imagine,” Mulkey said. “Senior, competitor, tough, just an inspiring kid to watch play basketball.”
Wallace led the way for the Lady Bears on five of seven shooting from three-point range, and junior center Kalani Brown contributed 20 points and eight rebounds in the win.
The Jayhawks took an early lead on a three-pointer from junior guard Kylee Kopatich, but the Lady Bears held Kansas scoreless for a four minute stretch and found easy baskets on the offensive end to take a 12-6 lead at the 4:45 mark of the first quarter.
Wallace drained back-to-back threes to extend the Baylor lead to 15, but the Jayhawks battled back to make it a 25-13 game at the end of the first quarter.
Kansas ran off a 10-4 run sparked by a three-pointer from junior forward Austin Richardson, but Wallace stayed hot from distance, draining two more threes to give Baylor a 35-25 lead with 4:44 remaining in the second quarter.
The teams traded basket down the stretch of the first half, but a three from freshman guard Alexis Morris and a driving layup from Wallace in the final minute gave Baylor its largest lead of the game at 47-31 heading into halftime.
Sophomore guard Juicy Landrum kicked off the second half with a pull up jumper to give Baylor an 18-point lead, but a 5-0 run by Kansas prompted Mulkey to call a timeout at the 7:30 mark with her team up 51-36.
Brown put the ball on the floor and spun around her defender for an and-one layup, and Wallace followed with her own and-one to put the Lady Bears up 61-39 with 4:52 left in the third quarter.
The Lady Bears ended the third quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 70-40 lead into the final quarter.
Mulkey sent in freshman guard Moon Ursin for the fourth quarter, and Ursin took advantage of the opportunity by scoring on back-to-back possession to give the Lady Bears a 78-44 lead with 4:31 left in the game.
Baylor held Kansas to just one point in the final three minutes of the game to take the win, 88-51.
The Lady Bears finished the game with 27 assists on 34 made shots, and did not have a turnover until the third quarter.
Wallace said the team did a great job moving the ball around and not being careless with the ball.
“We moved it really well,” Wallace said. “We took care of the ball. We were able to distribute without forcing it.”
Baylor can clinch their eighth straight Big 12 Conference regular season title with a win over No. 6 Texas at 7 p.m. Monday in Austin.