Cooper’s career-high 32 lead No. 6 Baylor past Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey shook up her lineup after her Lady Bears fell behind early against Oklahoma.
The moves paid off. Te’a Cooper had a career-high 32 points, and the sixth-ranked Lady Bears scored 29 straight points to spark a 77-56 win over Oklahoma on Saturday.
The first-half run lasted nearly the length of an entire quarter and turned an 11-point deficit into an 18-point lead.
“I substituted and went small, and it started to go our way,” Mulkey said. “I thought we had some good play off the bench. Gave us some quickness. I guess you could say it was a good move on my part. That’s why we get paid what we do.”
Cooper, a graduate transfer guard, made 14 of 22 shots and had six rebounds and four assists. She hurt the Sooners on drives and pushed the pace in transition. She also made 4 of 7 3-pointers.
Cooper, who has played for Tennessee and South Carolina, is now getting comfortable at Baylor. Her previous high with the Lady Bears was 23 points.
“What she adds to our team makes us better,” Mulkey said. “She had the hot hand and we tried to get her the ball. Phenomenal game, very confident in shooting the ball.”
Baylor center Lauren Cox scored 14 points in her second game back from a foot injury. The 6-foot-4 senior made 5 of 17 shots and grabbed six rebounds in 34 minutes.
“She’s not in the flow, obviously,” Mulkey said. “We run a lot of things through her and for her. The only way you get her back in the flow is continue to feed her, continue to play her.”
Juicy Landrum added 12 points for the Lady Bears (11-1, 1-0 Big 12), who extended their conference win streak to 43 games and their league road win streak to 37 games.
Taylor Robertson scored 20 points for Oklahoma. The nation’s leader in 3-pointers made 4 of 12 from long range.
Madi Williams added 14 points for the Sooners (7-6, 0-1). Oklahoma’s Ana Llanusa, who averages 17.8 points per contest, fouled out after scoring three points. She made 1 of 9 field goals.
The Sooners scored the game’s first seven points and went up 15-4 before Baylor took over. The Lady Bears closed the first quarter on a 13-0 run, and a layup by Cox as time expired in the quarter put Baylor up 17-15.
“All of a sudden, we gave up four, five or six layups in transition,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “So it started there and it unraveled from that point. We were in foul trouble and had to make some lineup adjustments that obviously didn’t work the way we planned.”
Baylor scored the first 16 points of the second quarter, and the Lady Bears led 38-23 at halftime.
“I loved our fight in the start of the game,” Coale said. “I loved our presence early. Then we started turning it over. You can’t give teams like that wide open looks in transition, and the wheels kind of fell off.”
Baylor: It wasn’t a good start, but the Lady Bears rallied with a vengeance and scored 31 points off Oklahoma’s 25 turnovers.
Oklahoma: The Sooners had already beaten then-No. 25 LSU 90-68 in Norman earlier in the season, and it looked like another stunner might be in the works early. Baylor’s athleticism eventually overwhelmed the Sooners, but they likely won’t play a more athletic team all year.
STAT LINES Oklahoma’s Robertson made all eight of her free throws. She has been perfect from the line in each of her past three games. She made 6 of 6 against Drake and 3 of 3 against Connecticut.
Coale on the Lady Bears: “Baylor is an incredibly difficult matchup for us. They have a terrific basketball team and they were very physical with us. Te’a Cooper was fantastic today she hit everything.”
Baylor: At No. 1 Connecticut on Thursday.
Oklahoma: At Oklahoma State on Wednesday.