No. 9 Baylor wins 6th straight, 88-70 over Idaho
WACO, Texas (AP) Australian freshman Kristy Wallace returned to ninth-ranked Baylor after missing five games to play for her homeland, and was knocking down long shots for the Lady Bears.
Wallace scored 24 points with six 3-pointers in an 88-70 win over an Idaho team with a sharp-shooting Aussie of its own and determined not to let Baylor dominate inside Wednesday night.
''That was as closed a zone as I've ever played. Most people don't just stay in the paint. They at least come out and guard the ball, or have a hand up on your shooters. And they didn't,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''When we started making some of the shots and we matched some of their perimeter shooting, we could separate ourselves a little bit.''
Wallace had three 3s in the final 6:25 of the first half, when the Lady Bears (7-1) had a 20-12 run. She had an assist on the opening basket after halftime for a 41-30 lead.
Stacey Barr, who like Wallace is a guard from Australia but is a senior, had 31 points with five 3-pointers for Idaho (4-4), the two-time WAC champions now back in the Big Sky Conference. Ali Forde added 14 points, while Christina Salvatore had 11 and Connie Ballestero 10.
''We did a great job of packing it in, it's the same way we played Cal last year, and we should have beat them by the way,'' Idaho coach John Newlee said. ''We're going to make them shoot the ball from outside, and if they make shots, so be it. And obviously Wallace out there really burned us.''
Nina Davis added 21 points and Niya Johnson 15 points and nine assists for the Lady Bears, who have won six games in a row.
Wallace was back at practice Tuesday after being in Fiji competing with Australia's Jayco Gems, who went undefeated in a qualifying tournament to earn a spot in the FIBA Under 19 World Championship next summer.
''It was unfortunate to miss so many games while I was in Fiji, but I'm glad to be back and in the groove,'' Wallace said.
After Wallace picked up a loose ball under the Baylor basket for a layup with 18:12 left in the game, she was in a stretch of less than two minutes when she also had a steal that led to a nifty bounce pass to Davis for a basket, then had consecutive baskets - a long jumper and a 3-pointer.
''She's a great player. She made a lot of 3s and kind of hurt us big-time,'' said Barr, who hadn't previously met Wallace. ''It's always good to play against Australians. It's fun, whether you know them or not, and it's enjoyable, but she had a great game.''
Idaho was 4-of-6 shooting and led 11-7 on Forde's basket at the first media timeout with 15:51 left. The Vandals then missed their next nine shots and fell behind before Barr made a pair of 3-pointers to tie the game at 17. Alexis Prince then made a tie-breaking long jumper to put Baylor ahead to stay.
DAVIS DEFINITELY GOOD
Davis was coming off a career-best 43 points at Mississippi on Sunday, after scoring 31 points the game before that. After going 7 for 12 from the field and 7 for 9 at the free throw line Wednesday, Davis is shooting 77 percent from the field (34 of 44) and 75 percent on free throws (27 of 36) the last three games.
Idaho: The Vandals are 0-20 in their history against Top 25 teams, including an 82-37 loss in Waco five years ago.
Baylor: The Lady Bears entered the game outscoring opponents by 38 points a game, the highest margin in the country.
Idaho plays at Toledo on Saturday.
Baylor is home Sunday against Stephen F. Austin.
The Vandals were coming off a 104-19 win Sunday over over Multhomah University, a first-year team from a Portland, Oregon school of about 700 students competing in Division II of the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association, not NCAA). Three days before that, Idaho lost 75-53 at No. 15 Oregon State.