Lady Bears hold on for win over TCU

Baylor center Queen Egbo grabs the rebound over TCU guard Kianna Rayleft, during the first half of a Big 12 game in Fort Worth. Baylor won 66-57. Associated Press

By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer

The Lady Bears traveled to Fort Worth and pulled away with a 66-57 victory over TCU Wednesday night at Schollmaier Arena. Unlike the past few weeks of play, Baylor had to fight hard for this victory as the Horned Frogs were within single digits for almost the entire game.

Starting sophomore forward NaLyssa Smith sat out the game with a right ankle sprain, which Kim Mulkey said started during the Oklahoma State game. Sophomore center Queen Egbo took her spot in the starting lineup and was one of the team’s few bright spots in the scoring department.

Egbo scored 14 points, tying for the team lead in scoring with graduate guard Te’A Cooper. Egbo was 7-10 in field goals and added seven rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass.

Baylor only took a significant lead once in the game when it went up 25-14 with 6:08 left in the second quarter. Immediately after, TCU went on an 11-0 run to knot the game at 25.

Junior guard Moon Ursin ended the run with a three and Baylor took a slight 30-26 lead into halftime.

The teams went back and forth throughout the third quarter, keeping the game close. TCU did not take its first lead of the game until it went up 45-44 with about a minute left in the period. Down 42-44, TCU’s Lauren Heard finished a layup with contact and completed the three-point play for the Horned Frogs.

The Lady Bears asserted themselves defensively in the final frame, holding TCU to just 12 points. They were also able to break out of their scoring slump, putting up 22 points in the fourth quarter and winning fairly comfortably.

Junior guard Didi Richards had a productive game for Baylor and was very close to a triple-double. She scored 10 points while shooting 5-6 from the field, also adding in eight assists and eight rebounds.

The Lady Bears committed 18 turnovers on the night with Richards, senior guard Juicy Landrum and senior forward Lauren Cox combining for 12 of those.

Two Baylor players fouled out with Egbo receiving her fifth personal with 6:23 left in the fourth quarter and Landrum picking her fifth with 1:30 left in the game.

Despite their struggles, the Lady Bears played strong defense and also outrebounded TCU 41-30.

After improving to 16-1 on the season, Baylor continues Big 12 play at 2 p.m. Saturday back home in the Ferrell Center against Texas Tech.