Egbo’s 17 points lead No. 2 Baylor women over Texas 64-44

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              Baylor forward Lauren Cox (15) looks to shoot past Texas guard Celeste Taylor during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Baylor let Texas hang around for a half. Then a big third quarter settled any doubt that the No. 2 Lady Bears remain in full control of the Big 12 and still own their rival just a short drive down the road.

Queen Egbo scored 17 points, Didi Richards added 16 and Baylor rolled to a 64-44 victory Friday night. Egbo and Richards each had eight points as the Lady Bears outscored Texas 23-5 in the third period.

“This team is grinding,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “It doesn’t look good all the time, (but) we’ve got enough experienced players to figure it out. We can shoot the 3 ball, we’ve got size inside.”

Even when some wins aren’t as pretty as others, another 20-point road victory — the 21st win over Texas in the last 22 meetings — shows just how far Baylor is towering over the rest of the Big 12.

The Lady Bears (19-1, 8-0) stretched their Big 12 regular-season winning streak to 49 games. They haven’t lost a regular-season conference game since Texas beat them in 2017. Baylor hasn’t lost on the road in the Big 12 since 2015.

Texas appeared to be catching Baylor at the right time. The Longhorns (14-7, 6-3) came in riding five straight wins that shot them up to second in the league standings. And they had knocked off then-No. 1 Stanford back on Dec. 22.

Texas looked ready to give a similar effort against Baylor early. The Lady Bears, the best-shooting team in the country coming in, started just 1 of 9 from the field.

Those problems were solved by halftime. Two short runs in the second quarter had Baylor leading 29-24, and the third-quarter burst put the game away.

“I was kind of fooled because I thought we were prepared for this,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “Baylor punched us in the third quarter and we didn’t respond very well at all. I thought we got really passive and just didn’t take the punch very well.”

Richards opened the third with a quick basket just a few seconds in, and Egbo scored eight points in a three-minute span. Baylor stretched the lead as high as 26 in the fourth quarter. Richards finished with six assists, several of them going to Egbo.

“We have so many great posts,” Richards said. “You just kind of pick the one that’s on tonight. That was Queen. You pick the biggest target and she wanted the ball.”

Lashann Higgs scored 10 points for Texas (14-7, 6-3).

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: The Lady Bears tightened their hold on the Big 12 race. At nearly the halfway point of the conference schedule, Baylor has a two-game lead at the top of the standings and has victories over TCU and Texas, the only teams still within striking distance. Baylor has won nine straight league titles.

“What coach would tell you it gets old winning? We coach to win, they play to win,” Mulkey said. “If it gets old winning, coaching, or being intense, get me a rocking chair.”

Texas: The Longhorns couldn’t shoot on their home court. Texas was just 7 of 32 from the field in the second half and 7 for 19 at the free throw line for the game. The Longhorns had only three assists.

BIG MISMATCH

Texas needed a big game from forwards Charli Collier and Joyner Holmes in a matchup with Baylor’s Egbo and Lauren Cox, who combined for 27 points. Collier, a sophomore, had 20 points and 19 rebounds in the pre-Christmas upset of Stanford, but scored just three against Baylor. Holmes scored four points Friday night. Together, they shot 3 of 24.

UP NEXT

Baylor hosts Kansas on Wednesday.

Texas plays at Texas Tech on Feb. 9