No. 4 Baylor women leave no Big 12 doubt, blitz No. 6 Texas
WACO, Texas (AP) Nina Davis shouted and smiled as she slid across the floor after putting No. 4 Baylor ahead for good, and flexed her muscles while bouncing away from the basket during another three-point play with the Lady Bears pulling away from sixth-ranked Texas.
Baylor's leading scorer was in the mood to celebrate another Big 12 regular-season title, and so were her teammates.
Kristy Wallace scored a season-high 23 points, Davis finished with 16 and the Lady Bears wrapped up sole possession of the league crown with a 74-48 blowout of the Longhorns on Monday night.
The Lady Bears (30-1, 17-1 Big 12) had already clinched at least a share of their sixth straight title, but left no doubt by sweeping the second-place Longhorns for their sixth consecutive 30-win season.
''If it gets old, I need to retire and get out,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''Because that's what you play for.''
Niya Johnson had 10 points and 12 assists on senior night as Baylor won its 17th straight game since losing the Big 12 opener at Oklahoma State. The Lady Bears are 100-8 in Big 12 regular-season games during the current run of titles, and 129-11 in four years with Johnson.
''You just don't take moments like this for granted,'' said Johnson, the league's career assists leader. ''I'm just blessed and thankful that I was able to go out there and celebrate with them, and it doesn't stop here.''
Brooke McCarty scored 12 points to lead the Longhorns (26-3, 15-3), who shot 29 percent and had a season low in points with a chance to share their first Big 12 crown since 2004.
''I would rather feel this now and give everybody a chance to adjust and hopefully come to work in practice in the Big 12 tournament before it's one and done,'' said Texas center Imani Boyette, who was harassed into 3-of-10 shooting and scored eight points. ''We've got another chance.''
The Lady Bears simply wouldn't let the Longhorns get clean shots around the basket, with 6-foot-4 Beatrice Mompremier and 6-7 Kalani Brown blocking or altering shots.
Mompremier never let Boyette get comfortable, crowding her every time she got the ball while grabbing 10 rebounds, getting three blocks and scoring nine points.
And once the Lady Bears quitting committing turnovers - they had 11 of their 19 in the first 13 minutes - the game was no contest. Baylor outscored Texas 46-17 in the second and third quarters.
Johnson had a hand in settling down the Bears after finishing the first half with four turnovers and six for the game. But she didn't have any while Baylor turned a close game into a 20-point cushion. Johnson left to a standing ovation and a big hug from Mulkey in the final seconds.
''We turned them over and didn't capitalize in the first half,'' Texas coach Karen Aston said. ''I thought that was deflating to our team. It didn't look like it in the locker room, but it probably was.''
Davis put Baylor up for good with a three-point play for a 19-17 lead early in the second quarter when she hit a layup and celebrated while sliding across the floor after getting fouled by Boyette.
When she hit another bucket and got fouled late in the third, Davis flexed her muscles before hitting the free throw for a 46-27 lead. Less than a minute later, Wallace made a 3 as Baylor outscored Texas 30-10 in the third.
LONG DRY SPELL
Baylor held Texas without a field goal for the final 6:17 of the first half, taking a 10-point lead at 30-20 when Alexis Jones hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer. The only point for Texas in that span was a free throw by Jordan Hosey with 12 seconds left.
Texas: The Longhorns shot 22 percent (7 of 32) in the second and third quarters. ... Lashann Higgs had eight points, and Ariel Atkins scored seven. Nobody else had more than four points.
Baylor: Wallace's career high is 24 points against Idaho on Dec. 10, 2014. She also had seven rebounds. ... The sellout crowd was a season-high 10,284. ... Five of the six consecutive Big 12 titles have been outright. The Lady Bears shared the 2014 title with West Virginia.
Both teams play the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament Saturday