WACO, Texas — All No. 3 Baylor had to do Sunday was dump the ball into the post, and there was nothing Coppin State could do about it.
The Lady Bears scored 56 points in the paint and were led by Kalani Brown’s 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 100-54 win over Coppin State on Sunday.
“I’m never going to apologize for having 6-foot-7 (Brown) and 6-foot-5 (Cox) inside,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “That’s a blessing. We’re not going to stop (pushing the ball inside).”
The double-double was the second in as many games for the Lady Bears’ All-American center, and Cox just missed a one of her own with 12 points and nine rebounds. Baylor (2-0) had five double-digit scorers in all and shot 61 percent from the floor and 54 percent from the 3-point line. Juicy Landrum was perfect on her four 3-point tries for 12 points to complement the inside game.
“She’s one of our better perimeter shooters. When teams play a zone there’s a place for Juicy,” Mulkey said. “What we have to continue to work on is her defense and her physical play on being able to really bang in there and get rebounds. As far as just spotting up and shooting it, she can shoot it with the best of them.”
The Lady Bears jumped out to the lead by scoring the game’s first five points and 13 of the first 17. They went ahead by double figures on Natalie Chou’s layup with 3:59 to go in the first quarter and built the lead the rest of the way.
Genesis Lucas led all scorers with 25 points for Coppin State (0-1), which also received 19 points and 11 rebounds from Chance Graham. But only one other Eagle scored, and they turned the ball over 23 times.
“Genesis played extremely well,” Coppin State coach Dewayne Burroughs said. “She’s grown tremendously from last year, leaps and bounds. She’s our go-to person. We run set plays for her, and if kids aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, she’s going to let them know they need to step it up. That’s what I expect from her.”
Coppin State: Opening the season on the road against the nation’s No. 3 team wasn’t expected to be a recipe for success, especially for a squad coming off an 8-20 campaign. Lucas, the Eagles’ leading scorer from last year, showed she wasn’t afraid to let it fly from anywhere on the floor on an 8 for 29 shooting night.
Baylor: The upside of only having 10 players on the roster is it’s easy to get everyone playing time, especially in early-season blowouts. Everybody played double-digit minutes for the Lady Bears, and they all scored at least four points. Freshman Alexis Morris showed her command of the offense with a team-high eight assists.
PASSING OUT OF THE PAINT
In addition to their scoring prowess, Brown and Cox have proven themselves to be proficient passers. Cox had five assists, and Brown added three.
“I’ve always seen myself as a pretty good passer, especially me and Kalani, we have that chemistry and that connection where I can just lob it up there and I know she’s going to be there to go get it,” Cox said. “Those offensive rebounds I get, I know I can kick it out to the shooters and they’re going to knock it down.”
Baylor: There isn’t much room for upward movement, and neither No. 1 Connecticut, which dominated No. 10 Stanford 78-53, nor No. 2 Texas, a 95-59 winner over Stetson, did anything to help the Lady Bears on Sunday.
Coppin State will close a season-opening, two-game trip to Texas against Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday.
Baylor ends a three-game homestand Tuesday against Central Arkansas before its first true test of the season, a road trip to meet No. 8 UCLA on Saturday.