ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – When the Baylor women’s basketball team found themselves in a battle with No. 17 Indiana on Friday, junior guard DiDi Richards did what it took to keep the Lady Bears’ winning streak going.
Richards scored a game-high 20 points and dished out six assists to lead No. 2 Baylor to a 77-62 victory over the Hoosiers at the Paradise Jam.
In doing so, the Lady Bears notched their second victory over a ranked opponent this season and boosted their winning streak to 36-straight.
Indiana cut Baylor’s lead to four points with 4:25 left in the fourth quarter when forward Mackenzie Holmes hit a jumper.
But the Lady Bears punched back with a 7-0 run as Queen Egbo and Caitlin Bickle each made shots and Te’a Cooper knocked down three free throws. Cooper’s foul shots put Baylor in front 72-61 with 55 seconds left.
Cooper finished with 17 points, Egbo had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds and Juicy Landrum added 10 to give Baylor four players in double-digits scoring.
Baylor went on a key 12-2 run in the second quarter. Landrum and Bickle each hit 3-pointers to fuel the surge. Bickle’s trey was her first of the season and put the Lady Bears in front, 32-21, with 4:41 left before the break.
But Indiana wouldn’t go away. Hoosiers guard Ali Patberg made a layup with eight seconds remaining in the second quarter to cut the Lady Bears’ advantage to 37-29 at the break.
Richards led Baylor with 11 points at halftime.
Egbo made a jumper on an assist from Richards to give the Lady Bears a 19-16 lead after the first quarter.
The Hoosiers led by four early in the contest when Holmes made a tip in. But Baylor responded with a 5-0 mini run as Egbo made a layup and Cooper hit a jumper and a free throw.
Baylor once again played without preseason All-American forward Lauren Cox in the lineup. Cox has been sidelined for the last five games with a stress reaction in her right foot.
The Lady Bears conclude the Paradise Jam with a showdown versus No. 5 South Carolina at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The game can be streamed at FloHoops.com.