By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
The Baylor Lady Bears faced a valiant battle from the Texas Tech Red Raiders Tuesday night in a game that was very close through three quarters. But No.2 Baylor, as it has in most of its close games this season, again found a way to pull away late, capture the victory and stay undefeated in Big 12 play.
Head coach Kim Mulkey earned win No. 600 as Baylor’s head coach, becoming the fastest head coach to reach the milestone in NCAA history, for men’s or women’s basketball. Baylor also completed a two-game sweep of the Red Raiders for this season.
The Lady Bears, who were trailing near the end of the third quarter and entered the final frame tied at 52, did not fall behind once in the fourth quarter. After transfer guard Te’A Cooper hit a three less than 15 seconds into the period, Baylor held the lead for the remainder of the game. The Lady Bears outscored Texas Tech 25-10 in the fourth.
Cooper, who had 11 points for the game to go along with seven assists and three steals, was one of five Baylor players to reach double-digit points.
Senior guard Juicy Landrum led the team with 19 points, while starting forwards Lauren Cox and NaLyssa Smith each had 13. Smith nearly had a double-double, finishing the game with nine rebounds. Sophomore center Queen Egbo had another solid performance off the bench, with 12 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes of play.
A large part of the reason Texas Tech was able to stay competitive for the majority of the game was that they were hitting their three-pointers until midway through the third. At one point, the Red Raiders were 7-19 from behind the arc. On the other hand, Baylor only made two threes on just eight attempts.
However, Texas Tech went cold midway through the third. They finished the game missing their last nine threes and were not able to hang offensively with the Lady Bears in the fourth quarter. Baylor finished the game shooting 50% from the field, while Tech only shot 36%.
Tech’s best player this game, even though she did not hit anything from beyond the arc, was forward Brittany Brewer, who had 19 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.
One aspect of the game where the Lady Bears continuously outplay their opponents was in terms of moving the ball and creating opportunities for each other on offense. Around a third of Baylor’s made shots were assisted with 22 of Baylor’s 31 good field goals this game coming off a teammate’s assist.
Baylor next plays at 4 p.m. Saturday against Oklahoma, back home at the Ferrell Center.