LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — No. 8 Baylor is back in Big 12 play, and a familiar role after taking down top-ranked UConn.
“We’re the UConn in the Big 12. We know that we have a target on our back, we’ve won eight straight years,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “Any off night for us is a win for somebody else.”
Queen Egbo had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the Lady Bears followed their victory over UConn with a 73-56 win against Texas Tech in their Big 12 opener on Sunday.
The Lady Bears (11-1, 1-0), who topped the 11-time national champion Huskies 68-57 on Thursday night, went ahead to stay against Texas Tech by scoring the last seven points of the first quarter. Egbo then hit a short jumper on her first shot of the game in the opening seconds of the second quarter, making it 24-16.
“Tremendous athlete. … She runs the floor just like a deer,” Mulkey said of the 6-foot-3 freshman. “She’s just so athletic and she was our sparkplug today.”
NaLyssa Smith, another Baylor freshman, added 14 points and seven rebounds. Graduate transfer Chloe Jackson scored 11 points. Kalani Brown, the reigning Big 12 player of the year, got in early foul trouble and finished with 10 points in 10 minutes.
“Credit to Baylor. They’re as good as I’ve seen in a while, top to bottom,” first-year Tech coach Marlene Stollings said. “They’re certainly a team that has a shot to win it all.”
Chrislyn Carr made four 3-pointers and scored 19 points for Texas Tech (9-4, 0-2), which shot 31 percent (20 for 64) from the field. Sydney Goodson had 15 points.
The Lady Bears carried a 43-28 lead into the break after Jackson’s deep 3-pointer was taken off the board when officials looked at a replay and determined she didn’t get the shot off before the buzzer sounded to end the half.
Texas Tech, which had a 1-for-11 shooting slump during the second quarter, made only two of 21 shots in the third.
“We’re still working on the part of believing and competing,” Stollings said. “There were multiple times in the third quarter we could have gotten it a 10-point game if we could have capitalized on some of our offensive possessions. … You’ve got Brown on the bench in foul trouble off-and-on all night. You’ve got to capitalize when you’re playing a high-caliber team like Baylor.”
Baylor: Nine different players were in the game at least 10 minutes. “That was a 30-point ballgame. I subbed the bench and it went down to 17,” Mulkey said. “Needless to say, we didn’t finish it the way we played the entire day.” … Egbo, who didn’t appear in the UConn game, also had a double-double in her previous game. She had 15 points and 13 rebounds in 14 minutes against Rio Grande Valley on New Year’s Eve.
Texas Tech: Despite the 0-2 start in Big 12 play under Stollings, the Lady Raiders’ nine wins are already more than their seven last season. They hung much closer than they did when Baylor won 90-44 in Lubbock last February. Tech hasn’t defeated the Lady Bears since February 2011, and last beat a ranked team nearly six years ago.
SHE SAID IT
“We celebrated that win (UConn) that night, but then as I said in the press conference after the game, my focus was on Lubbock, Texas. You’re in the meat of your schedule now for 18 games. … You’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Mulkey said.
Baylor looks to stretch its home winning streak to 29 games. The Lady Bears host Kansas State on Wednesday.
Texas Tech is home again Wednesday to play Kansas.