Story by Jessika Harkay | Sports Writer, Video by McKenzie Oviatt | Broadcast Reporter
No. 1-ranked Baylor women’s basketball advanced to 23-1 on the season after defeating Oklahoma 87-53 on Saturday night at the Ferrell Center thanks to a near triple-double by junior forward Lauren Cox and a season-high 24 points from senior guard Chloe Jackson.
With the help of early fouls from Oklahoma and Baylor’s defense coming up with four blocks and seven rebounds, the Lady Bears got the lead early, ending the first quarter 20-8.
Oklahoma’s offense struggled, starting the game 2-for-15 on field goals, and couldn’t produce any points during the last three minutes of the first quarter. Jackson led the Lady Bears with eight points — the same amount that the Sooners scored the whole quarter.
The Sooners opened the second quarter with a jumper from sophomore forward Mandy Simpson before going into a nearly seven minute scoring drought. The Lady Bears on the other hand, began to pick up offensive momentum as they notched 10 straight points early in the second.
Jackson scored three of the five back-to-back baskets, finishing the half with 20 points and raising Baylor’s lead to 38-16. Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale said the Lady Bears strengths and Jackson’s success was a huge part of Baylor’s win.
“Well you guys watched it, we obviously couldn’t do a thing with all that size. We couldn’t get a rebound, we couldn’t stop them from scoring. [Chloe] Jackson was terrific in the first half,” Coale said. “If you roll the dice, you have to give them something, and that’s what we gave them, and she took advantage of it. And I think that’s one of the things that makes Baylor so good, is their roll guys play their roll to a T, they know exactly what they need to do and they’re the recipients of the concessions that opponents have to make to defend.”
The matchup entered the third quarter with a 3-pointer by Oklahoma guard Ana Llanusa. Both teams were off to a quick start, scoring 11 points in total within the first two minutes of the second half. Though the two offenses slowed by mid quarter, Cox and junior guard Juicy Landrum both contributed to the growing lead, notching 14 of 21 Lady Bears third quarter points.
Into the fourth the Sooners scored 26 points to the Lady Bears’ 28, the most points Oklahoma scored throughout the matchup. By the end of the game, Baylor swapped out starters to give freshmen a little experience and time on the court. Head coach Kim Mulkey said multiple players stepped up in the win.
“You would like to play everybody as many minutes every game as we did tonight, but the game dictates that,” Mulkey said. “I thought as usual, poor Kalani [Brown], she can’t move. Consequently that left Chloe [Jackson] with a lot of mid-range jumpers and she’s shooting the ball really well. I didn’t realize [Lauren] Cox had seven blocks, almost a triple double, but you’ve got to get them off the floor. You’ve got to play kids when you can play them to give them some game experience and it just so happened that it was family night so that was even better.”
The Lady Bears play Kansas at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.