Brown overcomes shaky start, leads No. 2 Baylor women past West Virginia

WACO, Texas (AP) — Kalani Brown turned the ball over once and missed a couple easy shots in the first few minutes Sunday.

That earned Baylor’s senior All-America center a seat on coach Kim Mulkey’s bench. But when Brown returned to the game less than a minute later, she did so with a different mentality, started making shots and the Lady Bears fed off that.

Brown scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting to lead five players in double figures, and No. 2 Baylor beat West Virginia 79-47 to remain unbeaten in Big 12 play.

“She said I had to finish shots,” Brown said of her coach. “I said, ‘OK.’ So when I got my chance to come back in, I just tried to get back in there and finish shots. She has a way of motivating me.”

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The Lady Bears (15-1, 5-0) shot 50 percent from the floor, including 58 percent in a dominant first half.

Baylor never trailed after an 8-0 run in the first quarter and outscored the Mountaineers 20-2 over a seven-minute stretch in the second to take a 45-22 lead into halftime. West Virginia (12-5, 3-3) never got any closer than 18 in the second half.

“I think our depth (led to the second quarter run),” Mulkey said. “They have some injuries, and depth took a toll. I was really proud that we were able to rest a lot of kids. We’ve got a big game again Wednesday, and we’re going to have to chase shooters all over the floor.”

Juicy Landrum and Lauren Cox both had 13 points, and NaLyssa Smith had 11 and Queen Egbo 10 for Baylor. Chloe Jackson led the Lady Bears with a career-high 10 assists.

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Tynice Martin was 4 for 8 from 3-point range and led West Virginia (12-5, 3-3) with 18 points. Madisen Smith had 11 points, and Naomi Davenport added 10 for West Virginia, which shot 31 percent and had only four players with a basket.

“We took a beating. I think Baylor’s very, very good,” West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. “I’ve watched a lot of teams on TV, and I think they’re as good as anybody in the country. They keep coming at you in the paint. Even their freshmen coming off the bench, they just pound the paint. I’m disappointed we just totally quit blocking out, but we don’t have the numbers and they wore us down.”


West Virginia: Martin scored eight points in the first 5:19 of the game to help the Mountaineers to an early lead, but she was guarded closer after that and didn’t receive much help. West Virginia received only one point from its bench and couldn’t handle Baylor’s depth, especially in the frontcourt.

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Baylor: The Lady Bears dominated all aspects of the game under the basket on both ends of the floor. They outscored the Mountaineers 56-12 in the paint, outrebounded them 51-28 and had a 10-0 advantage in blocked shots. They also moved the ball effectively, to the tune of 28 assists with eight turnovers.


West Virginia: Home against Texas Tech on Wednesday.

Baylor: Home against Iowa State on Wednesday.