The Lady Bears battled back from an 11-point deficit in a hostile environment to claim a 65-59 victory over 23rd-ranked Arizona State on Sunday night in Window Rock, Arizona.
Arizona State jumped out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter and held steady through halftime.
But the fourth-ranked Lady Bears (3-0) went to their strength in the second half, pounding the ball inside with their dominating frontcourt. Baylor center Kalani Brown and forward Lauren Cox each scored 12 second-half points. Forward NaLyssa Smith added two key baskets during the game’s definitive 12-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters.
Smith made a jumper and a layup within 21 seconds of each other, putting Baylor in front 49-47 with 8:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. That was the Lady Bears’ first lead since early in the first quarter.
Smith posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Lady Bears in both categories.
Baylor 80, Southern 53: The Bears bounced back from a season-opening loss to Texas Southern by pounding Southern on Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears had a narrow 31-27 lead at halftime, then turned it on in the second half behind newcomer Devonte Bandoo. A junior guard who came to Baylor from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, Bandoo scored 16 points in the second half as he hit 3 of 5 3-pointers and 5 of 7 total shots from the field.
Freshman guard Matthew Mayer, who had a rough 0-for-8 shooting night in his Baylor debut on Tuesday, heated up in his second appearance. Mayer scored 12 points, buoyed by going 5 of 6 from the free-throw line. Forward Tristan Clark scored 17 points to give the Bears three players in double figures.