Lawrence, Kan. – No. 6 Baylor (14-1, 1-1 Big 12) has had to "bear" with some odd-end injuries lately, including senior guard, Niya Johnson’s bruised foot and junior transfer Alexis Jones’ torn meniscus.
The Lady Bears’ one loss was to Oklahoma State, which was played without Johnson, who leads the Big 12, averaging 10.6 per game.
Baylor was fully healthy for Wednesday’s game and owned up to its role in the "Big" 12 as it came out to play a big first period, outscoring Kansas 17-9. The difference was in the paint, and sheer shot numbers.
Kansas’ point guard Lauren Aldridge, was plucked late in the first period after picking up her second foul off of a turnover, which led to a momentous 3-point play for the Lady Bears’ Kristy Wallace.
The Jayhawks held their own in the second quarter, tying Baylor 13-13, and finishing the first half with a manageable deficit of eight, 22-30.
Unlucky for Kansas, the Lady Bears came out roaring in the second half. They notched three quick baskets within the first three minutes of play, clawing themselves to a 14-point lead, 36-22. It didn’t get much better from there.
Back-to-back blocks by Baylor big Khadijiah Cave, gave the impression that no one would enter the Lady Bears’ "cave"—or in other words, she protected the paint well. Soon after, 5-foot-11 Nina Davis, joined in the block party with a two-handed stuff, helping Baylor live up to its conference-leading block average.
Baylor shot six for six to start the second half while holding Kansas to just one for eight from the field. At the end of the third, Alexis Jones hit a clutch shot at the buzzer to bring the lead to 50-30, with the Jayhawks getting outscored 8-20 in the period.
The final period was pretty even as Kansas worked its way inside the paint and got whistled to the line eight times, preventing the lead from growing past twenty. But the Lady Bears proved their dominance as they finished with 39 rebounds over the Jayhawks’ 21 and purely beat Kansas out.
Baylor’s Lady Bears finished the game 58-40.
Nina Davis led Baylor with 16 points. Niya Johnson and Alexis Jones finished with 12 points each. Khadijiah Cave contributed a hearty 11 rebounds.
Jayhawks’ sophomore guard, Chayla Cheadle was the only one to score in double digits for Kansas with 12 points, six rebounds.
Baylor returns home 15-1 as TCU will meet them in their neck of the woods—Waco, Texas, that is—on Saturday.