By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
No. 4-ranked Baylor women’s basketball got their first Top 25 win of the season over No. 23 Arizona State after overcoming a 14-point deficit to topple the Sun Devils 65-59 Sunday night in Fort Defiance, Ariz.
The Lady Bears were only able to put up eight points through the end of the first quarter and 24 through the first half. Baylor struggled offensively shooting only 45.8 percent from the field while failing to score on either of their two three-point attempts. Freshman forward NaLyssa Smith led the team in scoring with 10 points. The Lady Bears gave up 35 points, giving the Sun Devils more chances to score and contributing to the amount of points they scored in the first half.
The defense for Baylor only forced two turnovers from Arizona State as the offense refused to give up the ball, taking 18 shots from the three-point line, scoring eight of those attempts. The Sun Devils shot just 36.1 percent from the field but had seven second chance points while the Lady Bears only got three of their offensive boards.
After a rough first half for the Lady Bears, the team found its rhythm in the third and fourth quarters scoring 19 and 22 points, respectively. This half Baylor had two players in double digits, junior forward Lauren Cox and senior center Kalani Brown, both with 12 points. The duo also led the team in boards, Cox with five and Brown with six, contributing to the 29 total rebounds Baylor had compared to Arizona State’s 12 rebounds.
Junior guard Juicy Landrum found the first three of the game for the Lady Bears and led the team in assists with five. Cox had the only two steals of the game for Baylor as the defense held Arizona State to 24 points in the second half. The Sun Devils were only able to make seven of their 31 field goal attempts for a shooting percentage of 22.6 percent.
The Lady Bears also made a difference from the free throw line in the second half making eight of 11 attempts whereas in the first half, they were only about to make two out of four attempts.
Baylor takes to the court again at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Ferrell Center as it faces Southern University.