By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor, Video by Drake Toll | Broadcast Reporter
Getting back to its defensive standard, but still without senior post Lauren Cox, the No. 7/6 Baylor women’s basketball team extended its home win streak to 45 with a 72-38 victory over Georgia Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.
The Lady Bears held the Lady Bulldogs to 24.1% from the field and single digit points in the first and fourth quarters. Baylor outmatched Georgia on the glass 41-30 and with 27 defensive rebounds.
“I was pleased, number one, with our effort,” head coach Kim Mulkey said. “We got in foul trouble, but I live with that. I thought our effort, our energy, our just getting after it was better. We, certainly as we go along, have to stop the fouls … I thought the kids that came in when all [the starters] were in foul trouble the first half — they extended the lead. That’s what good things are supposed to do.”
Sophomore center Queen Egbo had her fourth double-double of the season, seventh of her career, with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore forward NaLyssa Smith followed with 15 points and seven rebounds. Graduate transfer Te’a Cooper rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 buckets and led in steals with four.
According to Mulkey, it’s likely the Lady Bears won’t have Cox back until conference play, but Egbo said learning to play without Cox has helped in the development of the younger players.
“The more you play, the more confident you get, the more comfortable you get,” Egbo said. “Even though everyone wants Lauren back, it’s good for our team because we can develop the players who don’t normally get the minutes that they’re getting. We can develop, and then when she comes back, we’re an all around better team because those players have gotten better.”
Baylor was strong off the bench with 17 points and all but one player logging double-digit minutes. The non-starters were essential in sparking a 19-0 run for Baylor late in the second quarter. Junior guard Moon Ursin said being ready off the bench is always beneficial for the team.
“It was good for us, especially coming off the bench. Coach always talks about being able to relieve those players that are out there for 40 minutes. I think us getting that early start out there, getting a feel for the game early and just being ready, I think that helped us out a lot.”
Baylor started off quick with a three by Cooper and a jumper in the paint by senior guard Juicy Landrum. Georgia briefly tied things up at 5-5 with a jumper by their redshirt centerJenna Staiti but junior guard Didi Richards scored a bucket in the paint to retake the lead and Smith executed a free throw to follow up. The Lady Bears ended the first quarter leading 15-7.
After four of the five starters found themselves in foul trouble, the bench stepped up to the task and tallied that 19-0 run to finish the half leading 39-20.
Baylor started a bit slow in the second half but quickly picked up the pace and ended the third quarter on a 7-0 run. The Lady Bears held Georgia scoreless until the final three minutes of the game when the Lady Bulldogs managed to get two jumpers past the Lady Bears.
Baylor will take a two-week break as the university wraps up the semester with finals week. The Lady Bears will be back on the court against Arkansas State on Dec. 18 at the Ferrell Center.