No. 4 Baylor women pull away late, beat S. Dakota St. 72-66

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lauren Cox had 28 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks to help No. 4 Baylor beat South Dakota State 72-66 on Friday night at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.

Cox shot 11 of 18 from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Kalani Brown had 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for Baylor (5-0), which outrebounded South Dakota State 48-35.

Cox hit a 3-pointer to give the Lady Bears a 10-point lead with 1:12 to play. Sydney Palmer missed a 3-point shot on the other end but Myah Selland grabbed the offensive rebound, was fouled on the putback and converted the 3-point play. DiDi Richards missed two free throws for Baylor and two foul shots by Macy Miller pulled the Jackrabbits within five with 31 seconds to go. After a turnover by Richards, SDSU missed two 3-point shots but grabbed the rebound both times before Miller converted a 3-point play to make it 68-66 with 20 seconds remaining. Juicy Landrum hit two free throws and, after a Jackrabbits miss, Brown made two foul shots to cap the scoring.

Madison Guebert led South Dakota State (3-2) with 22 points, including six 3-pointers. Miller added 14 points and six assists and Selland finished with 12 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

Tagyn Larson’s 3-pointer gave South Dakota State a 12-10 lead — the fifth lead change in the first five minutes — before Baylor scored 13 points in a row. Lauren Cox made back-to-back layups, Juicy Landrum hit a jumper and Cox added a layup and a 3 to make it 21-12 at the end of the first quarter and DiDi Richards made a jumper to push the lead to into double figures 33 seconds into the second. The Jackrabbits missed nine consecutive field-goal attempts, including five 3-point shots, and went 0 for 2 from the free-throw line during that stretch.

Tylee Irwin answered with a 3-pointer that sparked a 14-4 run that trimmed SDSU’s deficit to 27-26 when Madison Guebert hit a 3-pointer with 3:19 left in the first half. The Lady Bears took a 37-34 lead into the break.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: The Lady Bears, who came in shooting just 55.8 percent from the free-throw line continued to struggle from the charity stripe. Baylor made just 12 of 23 on Friday — including 4 of 8 in the final three minutes — but hit their last four in the closing seconds. The Lady Bears prevailed against a pesky South Dakota State team in spite of what appears to be their Achilles heel but can they survive Big 12 play — or, more important, in the NCAA tournament — without better free-throw shooting? … Baylor improved to 3-0 — all on neutral courts — against the Jackrabbits. The Lady Bears beat South Dakota State 60-58 in the second round of the 2009 NCAA tournament and 71-53 in the championship game of the 2006 Junkanoo Jam.

South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits received one vote in this week’s poll and are ranked fourth in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll. … Macy Miller and Myah Selland combined to make just 8 of 29 (27.6 percent) from the field, including 2 of 8 from 3-point range. … Madison Guebert, a senior, moved into 14th on the program’s career scoring list with 1,407 points.

UP NEXT

The Jackrabbits wrap up the shootout against Buffalo on Saturday.

Baylor plays Georgetown on Saturday before visiting No. 13 South Carolina on Dec. 2 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.