WACO (AP) — Opposing teams have a hard enough time keeping No. 3 Baylor from making its first shot. The Lady Bears are nearly unstoppable when getting second chances.
Baylor, the second-best shooting team in the nation by hitting more than half of its shots, turned 21 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points while stretching its winning streak to 18 games with a 77-64 victory over No. 23 Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
“We should have second-chance points,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “We’re that big. What we can’t get because we’re out of position, we can swat it away. We got a lot of those tonight.”
Kalani Brown, Baylor’s 6-foot-7 center, had her fourth straight double-double — and 23rd in her 96 career games — with 19 points and 18 rebounds, while 6-4 forward Lauren Cox had 23 points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Bears (20-1, 10-0 Big 12) made only one of their first 11 layup attempts, but never trailed while winning their 17th straight game. They couldn’t shake the Cowgirls until a 10-2 run midway through the fourth quarter that included a pair of 3-pointers by Natalie Chou.
Chou had missed 15 consecutive attempts from beyond the arc before that, and had made only two of her previous 23.
Oklahoma State (15-6, 6-4) largely stayed in the game by making nine 3s.
“We had our opportunities and played pretty even for three quarters-plus,” coach Jim Littell said. “When you play Baylor, you almost have to be perfect, and we didn’t hit some shots we needed to hit.”
Dekeiya Cohen gave Baylor an early spark with seven points and five rebounds in the first quarter. She finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
“At the beginning of the game, (Mulkey) told me to go in there and do what I do, which is offensive rebounds,” Cohen said. “I know it was important for me to do that, just to give us second-chance shots. I mean, once you get second-chance shots, most likely you’re going to start making them. It definitely helped us out a lot.”
LaTashia Jones had 13 points to lead four Oklahoma State players in double figures. But the Cowgirls shot only 35 percent overall (24 of 68) from the field. Braxtin Miller had 11 points while Kaylee Jensen and Loryn Goodwin each had 10. Goodwin also had 11 assists while Jensen had eight rebounds before fouling out late.
“Our three leading scorers tonight were 11 for 41,” Littell said. “And that’s not a formula to beat them.”
Oklahoma State: Foul trouble was an issue that arose early and stayed throughout, especially in the post. Mandy Coleman picked up her third in the first half, and Jensen had her hands full battling Brown in the post. Point guard Goodwin struggled mightily from the floor, shooting 4 for 19, but she helped keep the Cowgirls in the game with her double-double performance.
Baylor: The Lady Bears have defeated three straight Top 25 opponents and are 10-0 in Big 12 play for the sixth time in eight seasons. … Baylor struggled early to convert shots in the post, but still turned in a dominating performance there. The Lady Bears outscored Oklahoma State 50-18 in the paint and outrebounded them 54-33.
Kristy Wallace was coming off games of 27 and 25 points for Baylor last week, both of those better than her previous career high. Wallace was only 4-of-15 shooting for nine points against the Cowgirls, but had a season-high nine assists. The last helper came on Chou’s second 3 in that key spurt.
Oklahoma State is home Saturday night against Kansas.
Baylor plays on the road for the only time in a four-game stretch when the Lady Bears play Saturday at last-place Texas Tech.
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