By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
The final numbers read more like a woodshed beating than a classroom lesson.
Brown and Cox combined for 49 points - one less than K-State's team - and grabbed 19 rebounds apiece as the fourth-ranked Lady Bears (17-1, 7-0) ran their winning streak to 14 with a convincing 75-50 victory over the visiting Wildcats before a crowd of 6,131.
"Their frontline is as formidable as I think anyone in the country," Mittie said. "Their size, obviously, their experience in there. Our freshmen got a real education against Brown and Cox tonight."
Finishing two points off her career high, the 6-foot-7 Brown scored a season-high 33 points and became the third player in league history to score at least 33 points and grab 19 rebounds in a Big 12 game. She was the first since Oklahoma's Courtney Paris had 33 and 21 versus Missouri on Feb. 25, 2007.
Brown and the 6-4 Cox are also the first Big 12 duo to ever grab 19 or more rebounds apiece in a conference game.
"That's a lot of rebounds for two girls that play together. They have to share the rebounding and not fight over it," said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, whose team has won its first seven Big 12 games by an average margin of 32.7 points. "To think that you had that many come off the boards, and they both had the same number of rebounds, is pretty impressive."
K-State's zone gave the Lady Bears problems early, as they turned it over five times and missed eight of their first 10 shots, falling behind 9-4.
"Baylor didn't shoot the ball real well, for what they normally do," said Mittie, whose team fell to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12. "But, all that did was give them a chance to play volleyball against the glass and rebound it more."
Baylor finished with an unbelievable 69-24 edge on the boards, getting 31 second-chance points off 32 offensive rebounds. Brown and Cox alone outrebounded the Wildcats, 38-24, with 19 on the offensive end.
"I guess I just had to figure their defense out," said Brown, who had three turnovers in the first 3 ½ minutes. "I played a little rattled in the beginning. The coaches pulled me aside and just said, `Calm down and play your game.' I just went out there more relaxed."
The Lady Bears tied it at 9-9 on a three-point play by Brown and finished the first quarter on a 10-0 run to go up 14-9. They also closed the half with a 10-0 run that included a pull-up jumper and 3-pointer by freshman guard Alexis Morris and another three-point play by Brown, taking a 34-18 lead into the break.
Mulkey said Brown and Cox are "just a load to have to guard, what they can do together down there."
"They're not just back-to-the basket post players," she said. "Those type of players now are much easier to defend. They can face you up, they can hit the jumpers, and they really help each other by being able to do that."
Morris was about the only bright spot in the backcourt for the Lady Bears, hitting 5-of-11 from the field and 2-of-3 from outside the arc and scoring 12 points in 24 minutes. Guards Kristy Wallace, Natalie Chou, Moon Ursin and Juicy Landrum combined to hit just 3-of-19 shots and scored six points.
Since draining 5-of-6 from 3-point range against Iowa State, Chou is just 2-of-17 from that distance over the last four games and has had back-to-back scoreless outings.
"Natalie's personality is she's going to overanalyze, overthink, worry herself to death," Mulkey said. "You just have to let it go and keep playing. A week ago, you were 5-for-6 from 3. Do other things, your help your team and do other things."
That's what freshman Didi Richards did, coming off the bench to score six points, grab seven rebounds, dish off three assists and block one shot in 24 minutes. Wallace had five of the team's 13 turnovers, but did find other ways to help with four points, nine rebounds and four assists.
K-State got 22 points from junior guard Kayla Goth, but only 28 from the rest of the team.
"I wish we could have got her about 40 shots, because she's playing at a pretty high level right now," Mittie said. "We just didn't have much else."
Baylor will get one of its stiffest tests to date, hosting ninth-ranked Texas (15-3, 6-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday in an ESPN2 telecast. The Longhorns gave top-ranked UConn a scare in a 75-71 home-court loss on Monday and then routed Texas Tech, 90-39, Saturday afternoon in Lubbock.
Mulkey said Saturday's win over K-State wasn't as much about making a statement "as much as it's just good to play on your own floor. . . . We just need to protect our home floor. When you're trying to win another championship, you need to try to win all of them at home and sneak some on the road."