WACO, Texas — There aren’t many times when Baylor’s post players meet opponents who can look them in the eye.
They were in that situation Sunday, and they embraced it.
Kalani Brown had 26 points and 10 rebounds and No. 6 Baylor beat Texas Tech 97-49 to win its ninth straight.
“I like playing posts my size because then you don’t have to worry about the little ones coming up and swiping you as much or a triple team,” Brown said. “You can just go one on one. I think me and Lauren (Cox) enjoy that more often. Like today we were able to take the posts off the dribble. Sometimes they would double team, sometimes they wouldn’t. It was to where we could read it.”
The Lady Bears (12-1, 2-0 Big 12) turned a one-point deficit in the first quarter into a 25-8 lead with a 17-2 run, and they maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Baylor shot 79 percent (11 for 14) in the first quarter and 53 percent for the game (37 for 70).
Lauren Cox added 21 points and nine rebounds for Baylor, which had a 58-30 advantage in the paint and outrebounded Texas Tech 53-21. Dekeiya Cohen had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Alexis Morris finished with 13 points and a game-high eight assists.
“Alexis has not played like a freshman since she’s been here,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “She has been able to relieve some pressure off of Kristy (Wallace). We’re a better team when I can play both of them at the same time, and I do. But when Kristy has to rest, or Kristy gets in foul trouble, Alexis has really stepped up and not played like a freshman.”
Erin DeGrate scored 12 to lead Texas Tech (6-7, 0-2), while Brittany Brewer added 11. The Lady Raiders shot 36 percent for the game (21 for 59) and 2 for 14 from 3-point range (14 percent).
“I thought (DeGrate) was more aggressive tonight, and we’ve been looking for that. I want to see her finish more and be more efficient, but she’s young and she’s going to keep coming,” Texas Tech coach Candi Whitaker said. “She played against probably the best post players in the country tonight, and I didn’t think she backed down. I was proud of her effort.”
Texas Tech: On paper the Lady Raiders have the size to match up with Baylor, but they were dominated in the post. Add that to their inability to handle Baylor’s quickness in transition, and it made for a long day. Texas Tech too often relied on dribbling and isolation, instead of moving the ball to get teammates open for shots.
Baylor: The Lady Bears didn’t miss too often, and Texas Tech didn’t take advantage when they did. Baylor’s 21 offensive rebounds matched Lady Raiders’ total on both ends of the floor, and that turned in to a 23-7 edge in second-chance points. Baylor also managed to get back in transition defense, as its 17 turnovers turned into 15 points on the other end.
Baylor has had an impressive start to Big 12 play with convincing wins over Kansas State and Texas Tech, but it likely won’t have a chance to move up in the Top 25 on its own accord until hosting No. 8 Texas Jan. 25 and going on the road to No. 9 West Virginia on Jan. 28 in back-to-back games.
Texas Tech will return home to face Kansas on Wednesday.
Baylor will host Iowa State on Wednesday.