By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
You would think that Kalani Brown's eyes light up when the 6-foot-7 junior All-American has a shorter player trying to defend her in the low post.
It's actually the opposite.
"I like playing posts my size, because then you don't have to worry about the little ones coming up and swiping you as much, or a triple-team," said Brown, who notched her sixth double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds in sixth-ranked Baylor's 97-49 dismantling of Texas Tech Sunday afternoon before a Ferrell Center crowd of 5,540. "You can just go one-on-one. I think me and Lauren (Cox) enjoy that more."
It definitely showed. Going against the biggest players they've seen all year, Baylor's post duo combined for 47 points and hit 18-of-25 from the floor as the Lady Bears (12-1, 2-0) scored 58 points in the paint and won their ninth game in a row.
Tech (6-7, 0-2) started 6-5 sophomore Brittany Brewer and 6-4 senior Jada Terry at the two inside spots and brought 6-6 redshirt sophomore Erin Degrate off the bench. But, they proved no match against the Lady Bears.
"I'm disappointed Kalani only made 11 of 13 shots. She'll probably have to meet me at the track in the morning for missing those two shots," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said jokingly. "We knew they had big girls that would bang in there with Kalani and Cox. . . . I thought Kalani caught the ball well, she finished, she positioned herself well offensively."
Save the 17 turnovers, there wasn't much the Lady Bears didn't do well in this one. They dominated the rebounding battle, 53-21, against a Tech team that came in ranked in the top 10 in the country in rebounding margin at plus-10; shot 53 percent for the game and 74 percent from the line; and finished with a 23-7 edge in second-chance points with 21 offensive boards.
"Baylor is really good," Tech coach Candi Whitaker said. "I think they have a chance to do something special. They're always good, but I think they're really good. They make shots, there's no deficiencies. They've got great guards, they've got great inside players. They've got a lot of weapons that are really hard to guard, and they're good."
The Lady Raiders actually got out to a good start, hitting four of their first six shots and taking a 9-8 lead when Brewer drove by Cox. But, they hit just one of their next 11 from the floor and trailed 29-13 after the first quarter.
Brown hit all six of her shots from the floor and was 4-of-4 from the line in the first quarter, outscoring Tech all by herself, 16-13.
"You can choose to double-team her, but I've seen her split double-teams like butter," Whitaker said. "And you've got to pick your poison if you're going to double-team. We just wanted to keep body-on-body and see if we could be physical with her, but she's really good and really efficient."
Things didn't get any better for the Lady Raiders despite shooting 50 percent in the second quarter (6-of-12). Baylor stretched its lead to 51-27 by halftime and doubled up Tech, 74-37, going into the fourth.
Baylor freshman guard Alexis Morris came off the bench and scored 13 points with a team-high eight assists.
"Alexis has not played like a freshman since she's been here," Mulkey said of Morris, who had her eighth double-digit scoring game. "She has been able to relieve some pressure off of Kristy (Wallace). Kristy has to do it all. Sometimes, just letting Kristy come over there by me . . . . She has prepared Alexis in practice, they go at it every day in practice. And we don't miss a beat."
When Wallace gets in foul trouble, as she has the last two games, Morris said she knows she has to "come off the bench and produce."
"I know I have to bring a lot to the table," said Morris, who was 6-of-8 from the floor and 1-of-1 from 3-point range. "I know I can't come in the game lolly-gagging, not focused. I just try to come in and produce off the bench and do what Coach Mulkey wants."
Senior forward Dekeiya Cohen had her second career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Wallace had seven points, six assists and five rebounds in 25 minutes.
Degrate, a local product from nearby La Vega High School, led the Lady Raiders with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Brewer added 11 points, but also had four of Tech's 20 turnovers.
Baylor wraps up a two-game home stand with a matchup against Iowa State (7-6, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Cyclones opened league play with back-to-back home games, beating Kansas in overtime, 71-69, before falling to Oklahoma, 74-69.