By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer, Video by Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor women’s basketball remains undefeated in Big 12 play with an 87-79 victory at home over Texas Tech Saturday afternoon, their 21st straight win over the Red Raiders.
Senior guard Juicy Landrum played the full 40 minutes and led the team in scoring with 20 points on 8-12 shooting. Landrum also contributed seven rebounds and also had a block early in the second half that forced a shot clock violation, firing up the crowd.
Sophomore forward NaLyssa Smith missed her second straight game and sophomore center Queen Egbo once again stepped into the starting lineup and produced on the floor. Egbo had 16 points, going 7-10 from the field and completed eight rebounds (five offensive) and three steals.
Head coach Kim Mulkey said that it is disappointing to suffer another major injury this soon after senior forward Lauren Cox’s return. However, she said it is a long season and that they will continue to pick up wins.
“We got players.” Mulkey said. “We got to grind it out. . . Sometimes you don’t push the right buttons and sometimes you do. But the bottom line is we still win.”
Texas Tech shoot 39 times from behind the three-point line throughout the span of the game. The Red Raiders were led by Brittany Brewer and Lexi Gordon, who had 24 and 18 points, respectively.
However, Tech did most of its damage in the first half, when they shot 9-24 from deep. They only made three three-pointers in the second half, which Texas Tech head coach Marlene Stollings attributed to Baylor’s defense.
“They definitely increased their intensity defensively [in the second half],” Stollings said. “The defense that they play is something that I have great respect for.”
Baylor entered halftime with just a 49-42 lead, but pulled away early in the second half, taking an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter. Cox said they were able to separate themselves because of that improvement defensively.
“We were helping each other, we were talking more, securing our rebounds,” Cox said. “It was definitely on the defensive end.”
Mulkey said she made a specific defensive adjustment at the beginning of the third quarter, putting junior guard Didi Richards on Gordon. Gordon had 14 points in the first half, but only had four more points in the second half.
Baylor was pulling away late and at one point, was up by 21 in the fourth quarter. With this lead, Mulkey decided to put in players lower on the depth chart because it was Family Day, but said she wished she didn’t have to reinsert her starters with just under five minutes left in the game when Tech began to cut the lead.
Tech continued to chip away, but was not able to get closer than within eight points before time ran out.
Baylor’s next game is against Iowa State at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ferrell Center.