By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
No. 2 Baylor women’s basketball defeated Houston Baptist on Thursday night 112-40. Even without senior forward Lauren Cox, out with a foot injury, the Bears didn’t have any trouble against an undersized Huskies squad.
The Lady Bears got off to their worst start of the season, failing to score until the 8:17 mark in the first quarter. From they returned to their normal game, jumping out to a 30-13 lead by the first intermission behind 13 points from graduate transfer guard Te’a Cooper.
Cooper continued her career night with another 10 points and three steals in the second quarter. The Lady Bears cooled off overall, scoring just 24 points while allowing nine, bringing the score to 54-22 at the half.
The third quarter was yet another slow affair, as both teams combined for only one more point than was scored by the Lady Bears in the first alone. It was the best shooting stint for Baylor, as the team made 62.5% of their shots at the slower pace.
The Green and Gold found life in the fourth, going off for a 38-9 split in the final frame. Head coach Kim Mulkey even put Cooper back in the game in the final minutes to get her career-high tenth assist.
“Cooper I think had nine assists and then I said ‘You better get it quickly’ because I didn’t want her out there that long,” Mulkey said. “I’ll tell my coaches, ‘If you know something is so close for a career-high or a double-double or something and I can put them in for another 30 seconds, let me know.'”
Cooper led the team in scoring and assists, posting the only double-double of the night with 23 points and 10 dimes. Three other Lady Bears earned double digits in scoring, and six players grabbed at least five boards.
Sophomore center Queen Egbo also made her first career start on Thursday. She racked up 21 points, six rebounds and three steals in 22 minutes. She said postgame that she didn’t play her best basketball in the first half.
“I wouldn’t say [it was] nerves. It was just that I didn’t seem as comfortable in the first half. I wasn’t loose,” Egbo said. “In the second half, I was more loose and I knew what to expect at the time. I knew just run the floor and let the game come through.”
Baylor now stands at 3-0 on the season, with three wins over low-major squads. Their first real test of the season comes on Tuesday as No. 25 South Florida heads to Waco. The top-25 matchup will be a good preview for Baylor’s trip to the U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam on Nov. 28.
The Lady Bears will attempt to stay undefeated at 7 p.m. Tuesday for a home matchup with the Bulls in the Ferrell Center. The game can be streamed on ESPN+ through the ESPN app.