By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
Coppin State coach Dewayne Burroughs saw the third-ranked Baylor Lady Bears as a team "firing on all cylinders" in a 100-54 blowout victory over the visiting Lady Eagles Sunday afternoon.
"To be honest with you, I don't see many teams in the country beating them this year," Burroughs said.
Coppin State had no one that could come close to matching up with Baylor's inside duo of 6-7 junior All-American Kalani Brown and 6-4 sophomore Lauren Cox, who combined for 36 points, 31 rebounds and eight assists.
Brown hit 10 shots in a row after missing her first and posted her second straight double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Cox just missed a double-double of her own with 12 points and nine rebounds and added five assists and four blocks.
"I'm never going to apologize for having 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-4 inside," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "That's a blessing. We're not going to stop doing that."
Overall, though, Mulkey's view was a little different than Burroughs'.
The Lady Bears (2-0) shot just 48 percent from the line (11-of-23), turned it over trying to "make things happen that weren't there," and scored only eight points in the last five minutes of the game.
"I asked that group to evaluate themselves, `Go and look at the film and tell me what did you do those last four or five minutes?''' Mulkey said. "I think the score might have been 8-4. Some of them scored eight points in 30 seconds in high school. This is big-time girls' basketball. They need to evaluate, `What could I have done better?' because I can't break this film down, start to finish. We've got another game to play Tuesday."
Baylor did have five players score in double figures and opened the season with back-to-back 100-point outings for just the second time in program history.
Sophomore guards Natalie Chou and Juicy Landrum scored 12 points apiece, with Landrum knocking down all four of her 3-point attempts, while freshman Didi Richards was 5-of-8 from the floor and had 10 points, three assists and two steals in 19 minutes off the bench.
"While she may not be our most polished perimeter shooter, I challenged her after the last game to get in the gym and just be a consistent shooter, knock down those when you're left open," Mulkey said. "She was up here at 10 o'clock this morning working out. I just think Didi Richards has to play minutes for us. She's just active, she brings a lot of energy and makes things happen on the defensive end."
The 6-1 Richards was also the only player that came close to containing Coppin State senior guard Genesis Lucas, a returning all-conference pick who had a game-high 25 points. She knocked down three 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line, but also committed eight of her team's 23 turnovers.
Senior point guard Kristy Wallace picked up her second foul about halfway through the second quarter, trying to defend Lucas, and had to sit out the rest of the half.
"Kristy can't get in foul trouble. She just can't do it," Mulkey said of Wallace, who finished with eight points, five assists and five rebounds in 19 minutes. "I love your energy, but it's wasted energy if you're sitting over there by me in foul trouble. And she knows that. And while Alexis Morris is a very good point guard, she's a freshman, and we need both of them on the floor. Kristy needs to teach her things on the floor, so just don't make unnecessary fouls."
Morris had a game-high eight assists and had four points, as each of Baylor's 10 players scored at least four points.
Landrum was particularly effective against the Coppin State zone defense, hitting four 3-pointers.
"She's one of our better perimeter shooters. When teams play a zone, there's a place for Juicy," Mulkey said. "What we have to continue to work on is her defense and her physical play on being able to really bang in there and get rebounds. As far as just spotting up and shooting it, she can shoot it with the best of them."
Baylor finishes its season-opening three-game home stand with a matchup against Central Arkansas (1-0) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.