By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer, Video by Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter
The No. 2 Lady Bears took down Iowa State 83-62 at home Tuesday night, staying undefeated in the Big 12 and improving to 18-1 on the season.
Baylor took a large lead at the end of the first quarter, as a Juicy Landrum three right before the buzzer gave the team a 24-13 lead. The Lady Bears led by double digits for the remainder of the game.
Head coach Kim Mulkey started sophomore guard Moon Ursin to replace injured sophomore forward NaLyssa Smith instead of sophomore center Queen Egbo ;ike she had for the previous two games.
Mulkey said this was both because Egbo plays better off the bench and Ursin was a better match against Iowa State’s starting lineup.
“I went with Moon because of transition defense and to guard the three pointer,” Mulkey said. “I thought against Tech, we didn’t do a good job of guarding their four player, so it allowed Didi [Richards] to go to the four to guard [Iowa State player Ashley Joens].”
Smith was able to return to the court against the Cyclones, however, entering the game just over two minutes into the first quarter and making her first basket about halfway through the frame, and totaling 12 minutes of play.
In addition to guarding Joens, who is Iowa State’s leading scorer this season, junior guard Didi Richards finished just two assists shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. She also added four blocks.
Richards said she was chasing that triple-double at the end of the game.
“When I first came out, with like seven minutes left, that was when they told me,” Richards said. “So I tried to emphasize over-passing the ball.”
As the Lady Bears were pulling away in the second quarter, Landrum hit a pair of back-to-back threes to give Baylor a 23-point lead, lighting up the crowd. The senior guard finished as the game’s leading scorer with 22 points.
Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly was thoroughly impressed by Baylor and its ability to play so many different styles of basketball, at so high a level.
“I think they may be better than they were last year,” Fennelly said. “ When [Baylor] can play both inside and outside. . . when they’re doing those kind of things, I don’t know who can beat them.”
The Lady Bears dominated the Cyclones in all aspects of the game. They outrebounded Iowa State 46-31 and had 24 assists to the Cyclones’ eight. Baylor even made more three-pointers even though they were out-shot by seven threes.
Baylor continues its season at 6 p.m. Friday in Austin against the Texas Longhorns.