WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) - Banged-up Baylor got a big lift from its reserves. A really big lift from a couple of its youngest players.
Beatrice Montpremier had 14 points and 17 rebounds and fellow freshman Kalani Brown helped the No. 4 Lady Bears overcome a slow start in a 77-63 victory over James Madison on Monday.
The 6-foot-4 Mompremier grabbed 15 boards in the first half. The 6-7 Brown contributed seven points and three rebounds in 12 minutes.
“We just went out there to defend and rebound,” Mompremier said, “and I guess it helped that we have a lot of size.”
Khadijiah Cave added 10 points and nine rebounds as Baylor’s reserves outscored their counterparts 31-4.
The injury-riddled Lady Bears also got 19 points from Nina Davis and 15 assists from Niya Johnson.
Johnson, the national leader in assists per game (10.5), also had six points and seven rebounds, taking only four shots while playing the entire 40 minutes.
“I hated to play Niya limping out there, but I didn’t have any more guards,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “It’s a very helpless feeling, but we knew we could count on her leadership. She’s one of the best in the country.”
Ashley Perez scored 22 points for James Madison (6-4), and Angela Mickens added 19 points and eight assists.
The Dukes stunned the Lady Bears with a 9-0 start before Baylor called a timeout less than four minutes into the game.
The Lady Bears then went to their bench, and Mompremier and Brown quickly got them back in the game, combining for nine straight points and dominating under both baskets.
Even after making only one field goal in the final 4:59 of the first half, the Dukes were down by only five at halftime. A 3-pointer by Alexis Jones, who finished with 17 points, gave Baylor its first double-digit lead at 47-37 with 5:03 left in the third quarter.
Baylor finished with a 57-31 rebounding advantage in winning its second game in the five-team Florida Sunshine Classic at Rollins College.
“We took some great shots in this tournament from Miami (Saturday night) and James Madison and we had to manipulate the lineup a little bit, but we did what we had to do and we won both games,” Mulkey said.
Baylor: The Lady Bears shot 42.3 percent from the field after coming into the game with a 52.9 shooting percentage while holding their opponents to 30.7 percent. … Davis also played the entire game.
James Madison: Center Kayla Cooper-Williams left after crashing to the floor in the second quarter, but returned and played 29 minutes. … Perez went 3 for 7 from 3-point range, but the rest of the team was 0 for 12 from beyond the arc.
Baylor plays at Oklahoma State on Dec. 30.
James Madison plays Davidson at home on Dec. 30.
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