Kalani Brown was named the Junkanoo Jam’s Most Valuable Player as No. 8 Baylor topped Georgia Tech, 80-57, to win the tournament championship and give the Lady Jackets their first loss of the season Saturday in Bimini, Bahamas.
“Bottom line, as I told them, we won.” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said on the postgame radio broadcast. “We won a championship. I don’t care where you are, championships are hard to come by. We’re a team that carries Baylor across the chest, and we’re not the same team we were as last year. But we’re pretty darn good.”
The junior forward scored 23 points, and sophomore forward Lauren Cox was right behind Brown with 22 points of her own. The two combined for 56 percent of the Lady Bears’ total points on the afternoon.
“It was tough, very physical,” Brown said on the postgame radio broadcast. “Georgia Tech is a great team, great athleticism. They gave us a challenge.”
Baylor jumped out to a 13-3 lead behind an early 11-0 run. Brown scored eight of those points for the Lady Bears.
Georgia Tech cut the deficit to single digits midway through the second half, but a pair of free throws gave Baylor a 10-point lead at the half.
Behind the tournament MVP Brown, and Cox who was named to the all-tournament team, senior guard Kristy Wallace added 12 points for Baylor, followed by freshman guard Alexis Morris with 11.
“I thought we grew up a lot tonight,” Mulkey said. “Lauren Cox carried us, she and Kristy when Kalani picked up her third foul and even when she got into foul trouble in the first half, I thought Cox stepped up and made big shots. I thought Kristy did. I thought Juicy (Landrum) hit a big three for us when we needed it. I could talk about all of them.”
After winning the tournament title, the Lady Bears return to Waco and turn their attention to No. 22 Kentucky for Thursday night’s Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup.