Freshmen Monpremier, Brown lead Baylor over TCU
WACO, Texas (AP) Freshmen Beatrice Monpremier and Kalani Brown are living up to Baylor coach Kim Mulkey's early expectations.
Monpremier scored a game-high 18 points, Brown posted 15 points and No. 6 Baylor overcame a slow start to handily beat TCU 72-55 on Saturday.
Kristy Wallace added 11 points and seven assists for Baylor. Brown scored six points during the first 2:35 of the fourth quarter as the Lady Bears (16-1, 3-1 Big 12) went on an 18-5 run to push the lead to 70-45 run.
''I've said it since the tie we signed these two, on paper, they're everything we want,'' Mulkey said. ''When we get them here, we have to break them down to build them back up. We're now on another level with confidence. They were either going to respond to it or fold.''
TCU (10-5, 2-2) came out hot to start, making a trio of 3-pointers to take a 13-7 lead halfway through the first quarter. From that point on, Baylor's defense clamped down. The Horned Frogs shot only 27.9 percent from that point on.
Zahna Medly had 16 points, making 4 of 7 from 3-point range for TCU, and AJ Alix added 15 points, five rebounds and six assists. It was not enough to overcome poor shooting elsewhere. Toree Thompson, Veja Hamilton and Jada Butts combined to go 1 for 16 from the field and 0 for 5 on 3s.
''A lot of people want to focus on Baylor's good offense, but they're a good defense too,'' TCU coach Raegan Pebley said. ''Their bigs do a great job of contesting shots inside.''
Baylor went on an 11-2 run behind three layups from Monpremier in the third quarter to push the lead out to 50-37. A 3-pointer from Alix cut the lead to 12, but the Lady Bears then went on an 18-5 run to push the lead to 70-45 and end TCU's chances with 5:21 remaining.
The Lady Bears' top two scorers, Alexis Jones and Nina Davis, combined to shoot 6 for 21 from the field. Baylor overcame the pair's poor performance by outrebounding the Horned Frogs 42-29 and scoring 52 points in the paint. Baylor also assisted on 25 of its 32 made baskets.
TCU: The Horned Frogs lost their second consecutive game against a ranked opponent. They lost to No. 17 Oklahoma 78-65 on Wednesday.
Baylor: Junior forward Alexis Prince played her first game since having knee surgery on Nov. 19. Prince injured her knee in practice and missed 14 games. . Baylor moved to 29-5 against TCU all-time. The Lady Bears have won 19 straight in the series, dating to Feb. 29, 1990.
TCU: vs. Texas Tech on Wednesday night
Baylor: vs. West Virginia on Tuesday night