THIBODAUX, La. — In her first career start and in front of family and friends in her home state of Louisiana, Moon Ursin finished with 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds as No. 6 Baylor defeated Nicholls State, 85-43, on Monday night. The freshman, who put up eight points in the fourth quarter, also tallied an assist and a steal in 28 minutes played.
“She did (start the game), because we came back home,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said in the postgame radio interview. “I thought the opportunity was there. She was nervous. She turned down too many good shots. She can shoot the ball. When we got in the locker room, I told her, ‘How do you gain confidence? Shoot it. If you air ball it, shoot it again. If you miss it, shoot it again.’
“She shoots it every day in practice and she wants to be on the floor. When the lights come on, baby, you can’t be scared.”
Ursin was one of five Lady Bears who finished in double figures Monday night. Like Ursin and Mulkey, Kalani Brown was also taking the floor in her home state in front of family and friends. The junior post finished with 18 points, marking every game this season that she’s scored in double digits. Sophomore Lauren Cox finished with 15 points, followed by senior Kristy Wallace with 14 and sophomore Juicy Landrum with 11. Overall, Baylor shot 55.9 percent from the floor.
The Lady Bears got off to a slow start, as they outscored Nicholls State, 21-15, in the first quarter. After that, though, the Colonels couldn’t keep up. Baylor won the second quarter, 18-6, and the third quarter, 26-6. Nicholls State didn’t even score in the third quarter until the final minutes of the frame.
“I thought when Cox missed the first shot, it kind of snowballed the first two to three minutes from there,” Mulkey said. “Teams are going to play us their toughest and their best. I thought Nicholls came out and wanted to compete. Our (physicality) and size gave them problems, and they wore down there in the second half.”
The win moves Baylor to a 10-1 record through nonconference play as the focus turns to their Big 12 opener at Kansas State on Dec. 28. But before then, the Lady Bears get to spend some time with their families for Christmas before they have to report back for practice on Christmas Day.