Story by DJ Ramirez | Sports Writer, Video by Julia Lawrenz | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor women’s basketball defeated Texas Tech 96-37 Saturday at the Ferrell Center in their first home game since being ranked No. 1 in the nation.
The Lady Bears were offensively dominant with a 68.3 field goal percentage and 66 of their 96 points coming from within the paint. Head Coach Kim Mulkey said it was sophomore guard Moon Ursin who set the tone for both the offense and defense.
“She set the tone for this basketball team today both defensively and offensively,” Mulkey said. “She was assigned to [Texas Tech freshman point guard Chrislyn] Carr and I think it was a career low. “She’s only a freshman, but four points might be the lowest point total, and Moon just harassed her all day. So kudos to Moon. Her opportunity came, and she took advantage of it, so it was outstanding.”
Ursin was the only Baylor player not to receive a foul. The Lady Bears were defensively aggressive against Tech, totaling up 20 fouls, five of which were called in the span of 41 seconds late in the second half.
On the offense, senior center Kalani Brown was dominant early in the game, scoring first for the Lady Bears to begin the game and to begin the second half. Brown had game-high honors with 23 points. She was 5-for-5 in free throws and had five defensive rebounds.
With the veterans setting the pace in the first half, the freshmen took off in the second. The “Fierce Five” were led by freshmen forwards NaLyssa Smith and Aquira DeCosta, who were 6-for-10 and 4-for-6 in field goals respectively. DeCosta and freshman guard Honesty Scott-Grayson finished the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers. Every Baylor player to hit the floor scored against the Lady Raiders. Smith said she was motivated by her teammates to keep the extending the lead.
“Seeing them score the ball and defend, doing other things like that, it got me excited just to them finally get to showcase their talent, especially because it was all freshmen,” Smith said. “It was super fun. It’s rare that that happens, so when it did happen, just seeing all them score and how excited everybody was, and the crowd, and seeing people on the bench proud of what we’re doing, made me feel proud of my teammates.”
Sophomore guard Didi Richards and fifth-year guard Chloe Jackson tied in assists with seven. The Lady Bears totaled 34 assists and continue to lead the nation in assists. They also managed 14 steals, four of which were recorded by Richards.
Baylor will travel down to Austin to face Texas on Monday night. Mulkey said that they will prepare for the game the same way they prepared for the game against Oklahoma State.
“You’re going to see a team that is going to give us everything they can give us and we’re going to have to go in the road and we’re going to have to play hard,” Mulkey said. “They’re very talented. They’re very good. We’re going to approach that game just like we approached the Oklahoma State game and go over strengths and weaknesses. I’m sure it’ll be a great crowd. Baylor fans show up in Austin, so I don’t feel like it’s going to be this intimidating environment because we really have great crowds in Austin.”