LAWRENCE, KAN. — If Kim Mulkey has said it once, she’s said it a thousand times. The sixth-ranked Lady Bears aren’t going to shoot the lights out every time they take the floor.
So Baylor needs to defend. And defend they did as the Lady Bears topped Kansas, 83-48, on Saturday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but yet I looked and we held them to only 48 points,” the Baylor head coach said in a postgame radio interview. “That’s a big low. You win by almost 40. I didn’t think we played particularly well.
“I’ll give Kansas some credit. They ducked their heads and the dribble penetration was hard to defend. However, they didn’t have a lot to do with the wide open shots we missed. That’s playing on the road. We persevered and hung in there.”
The Lady Bears finished shooting 43.5 percent from the floor, the third-lowest mark for Baylor this season. Yet, the Lady Bears surpassed the 80-point mark for the fourth time in Big 12 play and the 14th time this season.
Junior Kalani Brown led Baylor with 22 points off 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. It marked her 10th 20-plus point performance of the season and 16th of her career.
“Kalani didn’t miss a free throw all day,” Mulkey said. “That tells you she has great touch. Down there with her back to the basket she gets pushed around.”
Dekeiya Cohen was also in double figures as the senior finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Cohen also went 5-for-7 at the free-throw line. Kristy Wallace and Lauren Cox each finished with 11 points. Cox also had 10 rebounds, which marked her fifth double-double of the season.
Natalie Chou rounded out the five Lady Bears in double digits with 10 points. The sophomore, who finished 1-for-7 from the perimeter, had several 3-point attempts go halfway down the basket before popping back out.
“That’s part of the game,” Mulkey said. “If we could shoot it like we did against Iowa State every night, we’d all smile, but it doesn’t go down all the time. Defense and turnovers keep you in ball games.”
The Jayhawks’ 48 total points on the afternoon was the lowest scoring total of the season for Kansas. The 28.6 field goal percentage also tied a season low for the Jayhawks, who went 18-for-63 from the floor.
“Kansas is really known to drive a lot,” Chou said in a postgame radio interview. “That was our biggest emphasis during practice. We tried to stop it as best we could.”
A pair of Jayhawks finished in double figures — the backcourt duo of Christalah Lyons and Brianna Osorio with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
At the airport before the Lady Bears departed for Kansas, Mulkey pointed out an area that the Jayhawks had shot more free throws during Big 12 play than Baylor. Kansas was 39 for 65 through three league games, while Baylor was 36 for 53.
In Lawrence, that script was flipped. Despite struggling from the field, the Lady Bears shot one of their best percentages at the free-throw line. Overall, Baylor finished 25 for 32 from the line for 78.1 percent. It marked the highest free throw percentage since the Georgia Tech game (78.9) and was three short of the 35 attempts from the line against Lamar.
The win over Kansas moves the Lady Bears to 4-0 in Big 12 play. Now, Baylor has some time off before its next Big 12 contest at Oklahoma on Sunday, Jan. 14.
“We’ve played four games in about, gosh, a 10-day span,” Mulkey said. “We get a week off here. We’ll give them (Sunday) and Monday off. We’ll go to Oklahoma then play Iowa State and Kansas State again before we play the others. We need to break. We need to get our legs back under us.”