Waco, TX — Perhaps it was because of the home court advantage, or maybe it was the hype coming from the last game’s win, whatever it was, the Lady Bears made sure to they were the loudest on the court.
In their 23-game winning streak over the Wildcats, the third-ranked Baylor Lady Bears faced Kansas State at home. Pegged as a top team in the Conference, Baylor came into this game after a 140-32 win last week over Winthrop, whereas the Wildcat came out after a loss against Northern Iowa last week. Needless to say, the arena was full of cheers and shouts from the floor all the way up to the nosebleeds.
No matter who was on the court from starting guard Alexis Prince to bench player Lauren Cox the Lady Bears played like a well-oiled machine.
“I think their depth is the best I’ve seen it, yes certainly in the last four years,” said Head Coach for Kansas State Jeff Mittie.
As the game began, the two teams played with an intensity and enthusiasm, that one would think it was the first game of the season. The Wildcats made it to the charity line three times in the first three minutes with Karyla Middlebrook and Kindred Wesemann making six of six.
On the opposing end, Baylor’ stars shined right the outset, with a three from Prince, a transition jump shot from Alexis Jones and a powerful put back by Kalani Brown. The Lady Bears showed the many tricks they had up their sleeves, with multiple no-look passes from Kristy Wallace, as well as and-one plays from Nina Davis.
“We have confidence between each other, you know,” said starting forward Davis. “Really ultimately, getting our play together, and just improvement every single game… but we just came out ready to play after the break.”
Their confidence continued to thrive in the second period, as the Lady Bears’ defense was locked, staying attached to Wesemann, like white on rice, to ensure she did not get off anymore three-pointers. Baylor’s defensive efforts didn’t stop there, as they held Kansas State’s Breanna Lewis to a mere four points in the first 20 minutes of action.
The diverse range of scoring threats for the Lady Bears allowed them to establish a 44-28 lead on the Wildcats heading into intermission. Even though Brown was the only player in double-digits, multiple Lady Bears had contributed to the big lead, as well as the team’s 31 rebounds compared to Kansas State only having 14.
“We have enough depth to get them in, get them out and be able to play all of them, including the freshmen, valuable minutes and it’s just going to make us better,” said Kim Mulkey.
The third quarter was a replay of the second stanza — only with more breathtaking highlights. The Lady Bears took it to another level, blowing the game wide open, and amassing a 30-point lead and did so with and-ones, nearly 20 assists, 46 rebounds and four steals. Prince and Cox joined Brown in scoring double digits, although Cox did it all in the third quarter with 12 points. At one point on offense, Baylor had three offensive rebounds and finally on the fourth try it was scored. The Wildcats were defenseless against the powerful Lady Bears.
The final 10 minutes of the contest continued to play out the same way: Baylor in complete command. By the end of the game, Lady Bears had pulled down 56 rebounds, compared to Kansas State’s 28 and almost tripled the amount of assists with 22 assisted baskets while the Wildcats only had nine.
Baylor got its first Big 12 conference win with its 87-57 victory over Kansas State.