WACO, Texas (AP) - Baylor coach Kim Mulkey is getting used to NaLyssa Smith recording double-doubles and Moon Ursin making midrange jumpers.
Smith had 18 points with a career-high 16 rebounds while Ursin had 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the No. 9 Lady Bears completed another regular-season series sweep against TCU, 82-49 on Tuesday night.
It was the fifth double-double in the past six games for Smith.
“There are double-doubles that are more meaningful than others. I thought that she was very unselfish with the basketball. She passed up opportunities to score one-one-down down there,” Mulkey said. “She battled on the boards and did some good things, and that’s what she should do. … She has the ability to really, really break some records here at Baylor.”
Freshman Sarah Andrews had all 18 of her points in the fourth quarter for the Lady Bears (11-2, 6-1 Big 12), who have now handily won their two home games since a 75-71 loss to Iowa State on Jan. 16. That was their first game after a two-week pause because of COVID-19 issues, and ended their 61-game home winning streak.
It was the fifth double-digit scoring game in a row for Ursin, finally a starter in her senior season.
“You’ve got a kid that’s having an unbelievable senior year playing with a lot of confidence,” Mulkey said.
“Moon is to me is the best player in our league right now,” TCU coach Raegan Pebley said. “I think there’s obviously players that are producing some good numbers, but she’s so consistent and might be their team’s MVP. ”
Lauren Heard had 14 points to lead TCU (7-7, 2-7), which shot 29.2% (19 of 65). Michelle Berry had 12 points.
Baylor made 10 of its first 12 field goal attempts, five of those made baskets by Ursin, to jump ahead 22-8 lead in the first 8 1/2 minutes. TCU missed 11 of its 14 shots in the same span.
“Early shots not falling … really kind of got into our heads and affected our mindset way too early,’” Pebley said. “And it was just hard to recover from at that point.”
PRESENT THIS TIME
Mulkey and Pebley both missed the previous matchup Jan. 2 because of virus protocols. The head coaches had come into contact with people who tested positive, though both tested negative multiple times before that game. That 74-50 loss by the Frogs was the only game Pebley missed, while Mulkey tested positive two days later and the Lady Bears paused team activity until their loss to Iowa State.
Big 12 assists leader DiDi Richards had six more in 17 minutes for the Lady Bears. But she never returned in the lopsided game after rolling her ankle only 1:24 into the second half. Mulkey said the senior, who has 43 assists and four turnovers in her last six home games, seems to be OK.
“They didn’t say she couldn’t play. I just chose not to play her,” Mulkey said.
TCU: The Frogs have lost 31 games in a row in the series since 1990, including all 19 games in the nine seasons since joining the Big 12. TCU played its fourth game in nine days, and had won two of the previous three after overcoming a 13-point deficit to beat Texas Tech at home on Saturday.
Baylor: While still missing DiJonai Carrington because of COVID-19 protocols, the Lady Bears seem to be back on track with plenty of practice time and three wins overall since that loss to Iowa State. Carrington should be available to play in the next game.
TCU hosts West Virginia on Saturday.
Baylor is at Iowa State on Sunday, only two weeks after the Cyclones won in Waco to get in the AP Top 25 poll and atop the Big 12 standings - before splitting two home games last week, a one-point win and an 11-point loss.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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