No. 6 Baylor women beat Kansas 83-48 for 11th straight win (Jan 06, 2018)
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) For the first four minutes, Kansas appeared to have a chance.
The Jayhawks held a 13-12 lead over No. 6 Baylor in a matchup that, seemed destined to be a blowout. They were hitting shots, containing the Lady Bears' offense, and controlling the overall game.
That didn't last long.
Kalani Brown scored 22 points, and Dekeiya Cohen had 15 to help Baylor overcome a slow start and rout Kansas 83-48 on Saturday for its 11th straight victory.
After that 13-12 deficit, the Lady Bears closed the first quarter with a 12-2 run to take a 10-point advantage. The shift in momentum came after they shook off their early struggles and consciously locked in on defense.
''Defensively, we really just had to just focus on the scouting report really,'' Cohen said. ''Stop the penetration, and just make adjustments on getting out on the shooters.''
Those adjustments seemed to work. Baylor's (14-1, 4-0) Big 12-best defense smothered Kansas' (11-4, 2-2) shooters, limiting them to 28.6 percent shooting and 13 percent from three-point range.
It was just another day at the office for Brown, who anchors the nation's most productive offense and leads the country in field goal percentage (73.1). Brown was 6 of 10 from the field and made all 10 of her free throws.
Because of her continued success scoring the ball, she was ready for any double-teams or defensive tricks Kansas was going to throw at her.
''I know I'm going to get double-teamed, sometimes triple-teamed, so I guess I'm kind of getting used to it now,'' Brown said.
Christalah Lyons led Kansas with 14 points, and Brianna Osorio had 12. Scoring leader Kylee Kopatich was held to seven.
Baylor has eight consecutive victories over Kansas, dating to the 2013-14 season when the Jayhawks pulled off a 76-60 upset.
The Lady Bears held a distinct advantage in the paint, both in terms of production and pure size. They outrebounded the Jayhawks 50-35, and registered 10 blocks to Kansas' two.
No matter what the Jayhawks did, they seemingly couldn't find a way to gain an edge on either end. However, that didn't come as a surprise to coach Brandon Schneider.
''We knew it was going to be tough sledding around the rim, obviously with their size and rim protection,'' Schneider said.
The Kansas offensive struggled mightily to find its rhythm, partially due Kopatich's struggles.
The junior didn't pick up her first field goal until hitting a layup with just under three minutes left in the first half. She finished with seven points, and went 2 of 15 from the field and 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
Facing the conference's best defense - and one with such enforcing size in the paint - the recipe for an upset called for strong outside shooting. Because of this, Schneider isn't upset that Kopatich shot so many times, because that's simply what they needed their best scorer to do.
''When you have that kind of rim protection ... she needs to take those shots,'' Schneider said. ''Because there's nobody in our locker room that's going to fault her for taking open threes.''
Baylor started Big 12 play 4-0 for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. The Lady Bears have the Big 12's best scoring offense and defense, and appear to be favorites to capture their eight consecutive conference crown.
Kansas fell to 2-2 in Big 12 play. Those two wins match last year's total for the entire conference schedule, so things seem to be trending upward for coach Brandon Schneider's squad in his third season in Lawrence.
Baylor will have an eight-day break before hitting the road again to face Oklahoma.
Kansas will host No. 12 West Virginia on Wednesday.