MANHATTAN — Baylor has won seven consecutive Big 12 Conference regular season women’s basketball titles and looks more than capable of extending that streak to eight in a row.
Kansas State offered little resistance in keeping another streak going, losing to the No. 6 Bears for the 27th straight game 88-58 in the Big 12 opener for both teams Thursday at Bramlage Coliseum.
“We didn’t play with the effort,” K-State coach Jeff Mittie said. “That’s what I was disappointed with early is that we didn’t play with the scrappiness and the effort that we needed when you’re physically out-matched and experienced out-matched. We just didn’t scrap hard enough to compete very well.”
Baylor (11-1) scored the game’s first 11 points, which included one free throw when Mittie drew a technical foul 2:05 into the game. The Bears had the Wildcats doubled up at 32-16 early in the second quarter, took the lead to 42-18 and were up 48-25 at halftime.
“It was big,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said of the fast start. “The roles have changed for our team and you have the freshmen who are playing a lot of minutes for us. You don’t really know what to expect because even though you’ve played some good teams in nonconference, when you get to conference everybody scouts everybody just a little bit harder and takes away your strengths.
“There were several keys to the game. I thought we took care of the basketball with only eight turnovers against a lengthy team in a zone. Two, everybody looked to score and thirdly I thought we defended them pretty good.”
The Wildcats (8-4) put up more of a fight in the second half, getting as close as 13 points (54-41) late in the third quarter, but the early deficit was too much to overcome against the Bears.
“It’s tough to come back from 26-11 (end of first quarter) on anyone and definitely tough to come back on Baylor getting down early,” Wildcat guard Kayla Goth said. “We definitely need a better start.”
Goth scored 22 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists and Peyton Williams had 13 points and nine rebounds.
Baylor had four players score in double figures led by 6-foot-7 junior Kalani Brown who had 20 points and nine rebounds. The Bears shot 58 percent from the field with 48 points in the paint, held a 41-28 rebounding advantage and blocked seven shots.
“You just saw one of the biggest front lines in the country, and probably the biggest front line in the country, and you saw a young group of our centers struggle with that, as you would potentially expect,” Mittie said. “We were trying to help them but to Baylor’s credit their ball movement was so fast where we couldn’t get double-teams in there like we wanted to. They shot it well, obviously, but the ball movement (26 assists) led to really good shots for them.”