No. 2 Baylor holds off Kansas State in 54-40 win

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              Kansas State guard Christianna Carr, right, is fouled by Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Baylor defeated Kansas State 54-40. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey described the win as sloppy and snail paced as the Lady Bears beat Kansas State for the 33rd straight time.

No. 2 Baylor scored a season low in points, hit just two 3’s and were outrebounded, but still found a way to get the job done beating Kansas State 54-40 on Saturday afternoon.

“That was some ugly stuff out there,” Mulkey said. “It was just an ugly game and it’s the grind of the season. Kids are trying hard but sometimes it tough. That was tough to coach and I’m sure tough for fans to watch.”

Juicy Landrum scored 11 points, Nalyssa Smith added 10 points as Baylor won its 51st straight conference game, the eighth longest streak in NCAA history.

“We just grind and get ready for the next game,” Mulkey said. “Someday I’ll retire and look back and probably smell the roses a little bit. I certainly hope that people at Baylor recognize it and don’t take it for granted.”

Baylor (21-1, 10-0 Big 12) trailed by two in the second quarter, but a 13-0 run pushed the lead to 11. The Lady Bears coasted from their winning by 14. Kansas State didn’t make a basket for the final seven minutes of the first half.

“I think we showed some energy there,” Mulkey said. “We made some baskets and I think that run helped us.”

Ayoka Lee led the Wildcats (10-11, 4-6) with 14 points and had 12 rebounds, Peyton Williams had 12 points and Kansas State didn’t score more than 12 points in any quarter.

“We knew we had to play through our posts in this game,” Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said. “Baylor is tough and I think they’re the best defensive team in the country. They have great size and athletic ability and they’re perimeter defense is on point.”

Baylor leads the Big 12 in rebounding differential, but Kansas State outrebounded the Bears 44-43.

“That was part of our game plan and our kids have done a great job listening to our game plan,” Mittie said. “I thought there were some really good things we did today.”

Baylor outscored the Wildcats 30-18 in the paint. Kansas State went just 6-20 on layups.

The Wildcats shot just 21% (13 of 61) while Baylor shot 38% (23 of 60) from the field. Kansas State failed to hit a 3 all game going 0-for-18.

“I thought our best shots were early today, but Baylor closes windows very quickly,” Mittie said. “Early in the game I thought we were getting the shots we needed, but they just weren’t going through the net.”

Kansas State cut the lead to 10 in the fourth quarter, but Baylor held off the Wildcats and won by 14.

“I can only speak for our program, but it won’t go down as a game you go back and look at the highlights of,” Mulkey said. “We found a way to win and that’s hard to do.”

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State had a good game plan of stopping Baylor’s posts, but after Lee got in foul trouble early that went up in smoke.

Baylor pulled away in the second quarter led by its defense which was dominant the entire game. It was the least amount of points given up by Baylor in a Big 12 game this season.

UP NEXT

Kansas State travels to West Virginia on Tuesday.

Baylor hosts TCU on Wednesday night.