MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Freshmen post players Beatrice Mompremier and Kalani Brown are giving No. 4 Baylor a lift heading into the latter part of the Big 12 schedule.
Mompremier had 16 points and 15 rebounds and Brown had 11 points in the Lady Bears’ 71-61 win over No. 24 West Virginia on Saturday.
Coach Kim Mulkey has started Mompremier in six straight games, and the 6-foot-4 post has averaged nearly nine points and seven rebounds in that span.
“I have more confidence in myself now that she believes in me,” Mompremier said.
Mulkey interrupted Mompremier in the postgame news conference, pointing out that confidence comes with time.
“That’s sometimes hard for freshmen to understand when you come to a team that has returning players and some All-Americans on the team,” Mulkey said. “They want to do good, and they want to get my attention, but sometimes you can’t rush the process. And I have been nothing but pleased with (Brown and Mompremier) since they’ve stepped foot on campus.
“You build on it and you see what happened today in a game of this magnitude how valuable they were.”
West Virginia coach Mike Carey said his players needed to guard Mompremier better.
“We sat behind her,” Carey said. “We just let her catch it anywhere she wanted it. She’s too good to do that.”
Alexis Jones led Baylor with 20 points and Nina Davis added 10 as Baylor (21-1, 8-1 Big 12) swept the regular-season series with the Mountaineers (16-6, 5-4).
In their Jan. 12 meeting in Waco, Texas, Baylor needed an 11-4 run to finish the game and escape with a 69-64 win.
The Lady Bears didn’t need any late heroics this time. Baylor led the entire second half to win its eighth straight.
Davis grabbed a rebound and put in a layup at the third-quarter buzzer to put Baylor ahead 54-47.
West Virginia went 4 minutes without a point, and Mompremier’s layup midway through the fourth put Baylor ahead 61-53. The Mountaineers got no closer than seven the rest of the game.
Tynice Martin scored 17 points and Jessica Morton and Bria Holmes had 11 apiece for West Virginia.
Baylor grabbed 22 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Mountaineers 52-38.
“We didn’t play smart,” Carey said. “Like I said before the game, it was going to be won in the paint and that is exactly where it was won. I just think they can bring more bodies off the bench than we can, inside especially.”
Holmes entered the game tied for second with Breanna Lewis of Kansas State in the Big 12 scoring race at 17 points per game. Davis is fourth at 16.9 points.
Holmes attempted only five shots and got most of her points at the free-throw line.
The Mountaineers held Davis below her scoring average again. She averaged eight points in Baylor’s two previous meetings with West Virginia.
Davis went scoreless in the first quarter and Baylor fell behind 17-9. But West Virginia went more than 5 minutes without a field goal and Brown, who entered the game averaging 8.7 points off the bench, scored four points during a 15-1 run to put the Lady Bears ahead 24-18. Baylor closed the half with nine straight points to lead 35-30.
Baylor: Mompremier had her third double-double of the season. … Jones, a transfer from Duke, has had two big games over the past two weeks to boost the Lady Bears. She had a career-high 29 points on Jan. 17 as Baylor handed No. 6 Texas its first loss. … The Lady Bears beat the Mountaineers for the fourth straight time in Morgantown since West Virginia joined the Big East in the 2012-13 season.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers fell to 0-4 against ranked teams this season. … Forward Arielle Roberson missed the game to attend a relative’s funeral in San Antonio. Teana Muldrow got her first start of the season and finished with five points.
Baylor: At home against Kansas State on Wednesday.
West Virginia: At Texas Tech on Tuesday.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.