Lady Bears handle Texas in 100th meeting

Junior guard Didi Richards looks for a pass option as graduate guard Te'a Cooper block a Texas defender during Baylor's 64-44 win over the Longhorns Friday night in Austin. Photo courtesy of The Daily Texan

By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer

In Baylor’s 100th meeting against Texas in women’s basketball, the Lady Bears used a dominant third quarter to claim a 64-44 victory in Austin Friday night. The Lady Bears now have 20 wins in their last 21 meetings with Texas.

The game started at a slow pace with Baylor only making one shot in the first five minutes, on a three-pointer by senior guard Juicy Landrum. The two teams were knotted at 11 points each at the end of the first quarter.

After Texas took a 15-11 lead early in the second quarter, the Lady Bears answered by scoring seven straight points on their way to a 16-5 run. The first half ended with Baylor up five points at 29-24.

Then came the third quarter, when Baylor completely dominated. The Lady Bears put the game away in large part due to their defense. They outscored Texas 23-5 in the frame and completely shut the Longhorns down.

Baylor was able to take both of UT’s leading scorers out of the game offensively. Center Joyner Holmes averages 14.1 points per game but the Lady Bears held her to four points. Charli Collier, who averages 13.8 points per game, had three. The two players combined to shoot 3-24 from the field.

Baylor starting guard Didi Richards said defense is definitely the reason the team took over in the third quarter because Baylor feeds off defensive success.

“I think our team thrives when we are playing our best defense,” Richards said, “whether that’s [forward Lauren Cox] not fouling, me not fouling, Queen grabbing boards that I don’t understand how she gets. I think when we play good defense, that’s when our team starts going.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Baylor leads the nation in assists as well as in assists per game. Against Texas, they continued to spread the ball well, piling up 16 assists on 25 made field goals.

Texas, meanwhile, only had three assists for the game. Longhorns head coach Karen Aston said she was disappointed by her team’s shot selection and lack of discipline.

“We settled way too much,” Aston said. “For long two’s, jumpers that were contested. […] I’m just surprised that we didn’t move the ball better and share it more. […] It’s on me. If you want to say a team has a lack of discipline, that comes from something that we’re not doing right in practice. I’m disappointed.”

Sophomore center Queen Egbo was a force off the bench for Baylor. She led the Lady Bears with 17 points, eight of which came in that third quarter, and added seven rebounds.

Egbo attributed much of her success to the play of her teammates.

“My guards put me in good position to score the ball,” Egbo said. “Didi always knows how to get me in the groove and knows what I want to do. [. . .] My teammates know what to do and they make my job easy for me. All I have to do is finish.”

Baylor will continue Big 12 play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at home against the Kansas Jayhawks.