Whether Texas Tech played a man or a zone defense, the Lady Bears continued to get whatever shot they wanted.
And usually, that ideal shot came from Kalani Brown or Lauren Cox inside the paint. From that point-blank range, the Baylor duo rarely missed.
Behind that deadly combination, against Texas Tech bigs of similar size no less, the sixth-ranked Lady Bears topped the Lady Raiders, 97-49, to move to 2-0 in Big 12 play Sunday afternoon inside the Ferrell Center.
“How do you stop Kalani and Cox?” Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said. “That combo is really good, and they’ve worked really hard. Kalani is in great shape, and you can choose to double team. I’ve seen her split double teams like butter, and you’ve got to pick your poison if you’re going to double team. We just wanted to keep body on body and see if we could be physical with her, but she’s really good and really efficient.”
Brown, a junior, finished shooting 11-for-13 from the floor for 26 points in addition to 10 rebounds in 22 minutes on the floor. It marked the eighth time this year, and 15th of her career, that she’s tallied at least 20 points in a game. Cox wasn’t far behind as the sophomore had 21 points, including a 7-for-8 mark from the free-throw line, for 21 points in 24 minutes.
“We knew they were big,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “We knew they had big girls that would bang in there with Kalani and Cox. So we, in the scouting report, prepared them. Because a lot of times, to this point, they’ve seen smaller post play.”
When Brown was asked if she ups her game when she knows she will be up against bigger posts, she answered that going against posts her size are what she prefers.
“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 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.”
In addition to Brown and Cox, two more Lady Bears finished in double figures. Senior Dekeiya Cohen went a team-high 8-for-12 from the free-throw line as she put up 12 points and 11 rebounds, her second career double-double. Freshman Alexis Morris recorded 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in addition to eight assists.
“I know I have to be prepared to come off the bench and produce,” Morris said. “When Kristy (Wallace) gets in foul trouble, I know I have to bring a lot to the table. I know I can’t come in the game lolly-gagging, not focused. I just try to come in and produce off the bench and do what Coach Mulkey wants.”
As a team, Baylor finished shooting 52.9 percent from the floor with 58 of their 97 points coming from inside the paint. Baylor didn’t take many shots from outside the paint as the Lady Bears finished with 10 3-point attempts and only eight more shots outside of the lane.
Defensively, Baylor held the Lady Raiders to 35.6 percent shooting from the floor as La Vega graduate Erin Degrate led Texas Tech with 12 points. Brittany Brewer tallied 11.
“I thought our defense was active, except at the very beginning,” Mulkey said. “... I thought we were active with our hands. We didn’t allow a lot of dribble penetration. And then when they did get in there, we didn’t foul a whole lot. I thought holding them to 49 points, I don’t care who you play, that’s playing a lot of defense.”