By: Jerry Hill/Baylor Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – This one certainly didn’t come easy, but Baylor coach Kim Mulkey picked up her 600th career win as the top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears dominated the fourth quarter to finally put away Texas Tech, 77-62, Tuesday night at United Supermarkets Arena.
Juicy Landrum scored seven of her team-high 19 points in a pivotal 9-0 run that gave the Lady Bears (24-1, 13-0) the lead for good. In addition to Mulkey’s milestone win, Baylor extended its conference win streaks to 54-consecutive overall and 43 in a row on the road.
Posting her 600th career victory in her 700th game, Mulkey passed Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp (704) as the fastest men’s or women’s coach to get to 600 and UConn’s Geno Auriemma (716) as the fastest on the women’s side.
“Coaches are only as good as their players, that’s the God’s truth,” said Mulkey, who improved to 600-100. “I can draw up every play in America. I can be the smartest coach in the world. But, if you don’t have players, and they don’t go out there and perform, you don’t win basketball games.
“Those 600 victories, coming as quickly as they did, it’s because of those kids. Secondly, it’s because of the coaching staff. . . . I’ve got three of them that have been with me since I’ve been at Baylor, with the exception of a couple years. That’s unheard of now. And thirdly, I’m getting old. I’m just getting old, but I still have a lot of fight left.
Tech (15-9, 4-9) was able to stay close in the first half, hitting five 3-pointers and outrebounding the Lady Bears, 22-19. Brittany Brewer nearly had a double-double in the first half with 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks
In a back-and-forth first half, Baylor matched its biggest lead when Landrum fed Queen Egbo with a layup off a Chrislyn Carr turnover to go up 38-33 with 1:01 left. The Lady Raiders took the momentum into the locker room, though, when Carr drained her second 3-pointer of the night to make it 38-36 at the break.
Tied at 52-52 after three quarters, Baylor finally created some separation in the first two-plus minutes of the fourth period with a wide-open 3-pointer by Te’a Cooper, a fastbreak layup by Landrum off an outlet pass from DiDi Richards and a jumper by Landrum that put the Lady Bears on top, 59-52.
Baylor outscored Tech, 25-10, in the fourth quarter and held the Lady Raiders to just 2-of-11 from the floor and 0-for-5 from outside the arc.
The Lady Bears finished the game with five players in double figures, with Lauren Cox and NaLyssa Smith scoring 13 apiece, Egbo adding 12 and Cooper 11 points with seven assists and three steals.
Brewer had a double-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, but also had five of Tech’s 13 turnovers. Lexi Gordon (16) and Carr (11) also scored in double figures and each hit three of the Lady Raiders’ seven 3-pointers.
Baylor returns home for three of its next four games, including a matchup against Oklahoma (12-13, 5-8) at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Sooners, who have a midweek bye, have dropped three in a row and seven of their last nine.