No. 5 Baylor uses balanced offense to rout Cincinnati 72-34

FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) Baylor used its size advantage to overpower Cincinnati.

Kalani Brown scored 13 points and the No. 5 Lady Bears played stifling defense to rout the Bearcats 72-34 in the opening game of the Junkanoo Jam on Thursday.

''We're big and y'all know that,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''We had a shortage on the perimeter right now because of injuries.''

Nina Davis added 10 points while Kristina Higgins had eight points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Bears (5-0), who outrebounded Cincinnati 51-35 and held the Bearcats to just 15 percent shooting (9 for 59).

''Kristina Higgins set the tone for us,'' Mulkey said. ''Wish I had known she was that close, would have run a play to get a double-double for her.''

Niya Johnson had five points, five rebounds and 10 assists.

Baylor led 8-5 early on before going on an 18-6 run spanning the first two quarters to take control. Brown, Davis and Kristy Wallace all contributed during the game-changing run. The Lady Bears were up 38-16 at the half, holding the Bearcats to just 19 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. Higgins had eight points and nine rebounds in the half as Baylor outrebounded Cincinnati 30-13.

''(Higgins) contributed so much to our team,'' Wallace said. ''She definitely stepped up this year. She's helping the freshmen. Helping build them.''

The Lady Bears put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring the Bearcats 18-3.

Ana Owens scored 11 points and Maya Benham added eight to lead the Bearcats (3-1).

TIP-INS:

Baylor: The Lady Bears improved to 15-2 under coach Kim Mulkey in games played off the mainland, including a 5-0 mark in the Bahamas. They won the 2005 Junkanoo Jam and the 2010 Sunsplash Shootout in Nassau. ... Alexis Prince was out after having surgery Nov. 19 for a torn lateral meniscus.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats won their first three games for the first time since 2011 when they started 6-0. This was only the second-ever meeting between the schools. The Bearcats won the first matchup by 17 points in 1981.

UP NEXT:

Cincinnati: vs. No. 20 Michigan State on Friday in the Junkanoo Jam

Baylor: vs No. 20 Michigan State on Saturday in the Junkanoo Jam

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