Baylor center Erin DeGrate (22) leaps for the ball against Lamar center Rikiah Cowart (20) and Lamar guard Amber Vidal (5) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Things evened out pretty nicely for No. 2 Baylor in its second game in three nights, and before traveling about 2,200 miles for a holiday trip when the Lady Bears will play three games in three days.
Graduate transfer Erin DeGrate scored 19 points, NaLyssa Smith added 18 on 8-of-8 shooting and Queen Egbo had another double-double as the defending national champion Lady Bears stretched their winning streak to 34 games with a 90-28 victory over Lamar on Thursday night.
“Everybody got to play and everybody got to score and do something good,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “We’re getting ready to go to the Virgin Islands and we play three games in three days, and that was the plan, and it worked out where I could do that.”
With preseason AP All-America post Lauren Cox still out with a right foot injury, all 10 players who got in the game scored for the Lady Bears (5-0). All played pretty much a half, with DeGrate’s season-high 21 minutes the most, and 19 the fewest by anyone.
Egbo had 12 points and 10 points in 19 minutes for her second double-double in a row. Te’a Cooper had 12 points with three 3-pointers.
Mulkey rotated players throughout, all while Lamar (1-3) was held to single digits in each quarter. The Lady Bears had a 35-13 halftime lead after their starters sat on the bench the entire second quarter.
“Yeah, I feel like it’s good because we can rest our bodies and at the end of the day we’re working on us,” Smith said. “So just for the second group to go in and just work on our offense, things we do in practice, and for us to just execute thing that we normally do in practice, just to do it in a game.”
Angel Hastings had 13 points for Lamar, which shot 18 percent overall (10 of 57) and was outrebounded 45-12. Leading scorer Amber Vidal, who was averaging 16.3 points a game, scored only 2 points while making only 1 of 16 shots.
Lamar had its only lead when Hastings hit a 3-pointer to make it 5-4 just over 2 minutes into the game, and were down only one point before Egbo’s jumper started a 16-0 run over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first quarter to make it 24-7.
Lamar: First-year coach Aqua Franklin and the Cardinals lost 70% of the team’s scoring from last season’s Southland Conference champions.
Baylor: The Lady Bears have won 44 home games in a row, and have won their last 54 home games against non-conference opponents since a loss to UConn in January 2014. … Baylor shot 68 percent from the field (36 of 53), the fourth-best for a game in school history. “We shot the ball better than I realized,” Mulkey said.
NOT ALL GOOD
The Lady Bears struggled a bit with ball control, the 21 turnovers being seven more than their team average. They also shot only 58 percent (15 of 26) on free throws.
“Free throws are going to cost us if we can’t get up there and make free throws,” Mulkey said. “The two negatives were the turnovers and missed free throws, but the positive was everyone got to play and everyone got to score and do something good.”
Lamar hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Monday.
Baylor heads to the U.S. Virgin Islands to play three games in the in the Paradise Jam. The Lady Bears play Washington State on Thanksgiving Day.