Sophomore post Ayoka Lee recorded her eleventh double-digit game of the season with 21-points on Sunday, but No. 8 Baylor (14-2) shot 53 percent in the second quarter to cruise to a 64-52 win over the Kansas State (5-11) in Manhattan.
This is the Wildcats’ ninth-straight loss and the sixth straight win for Baylor.
The Wildcats played without junior guard Christianna Carr. Carr is the second leading scorer, averaging 14.5 points per game. K-State was limited off the bench with only four players available. K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said Carr struggles with a nagging injury and the timetable for recovery is unclear.
K-State put on the pressure in the first quarter and even held an 11-7 lead until the last five minutes of the first quarter. Baylor then went on a 12-0 run, which gave the Bears some momentum early. The Bears scored 21 points in the second quarter to take a 37-26 lead into the half, led by 11 first-half points by senior guard Dijonai Carrington.
Baylor shot 55 percent from three in the first half, creating the separation early in the game — especially with K-State being without Carr, the team leader in field goal percentage from three. Carrington finished the game with 16 points and 4-11 from three.
“I thought Carrington hurt us in the first half with the threes,” Mittie said. “They bring in a better shooting lineup off the bench.”
Baylor outscored the K-State bench 21-8.
K-State brought the lead to 56-46 with three and half minutes to play in the fourth. Baylor outscored the Wildcats 6-4 to stay ahead of the K-State. The Wildcats outscored Baylor in the fourth quarter 14-12, but the second quarter was the dagger. The Wildcats finished the afternoon shooting 43 percent from the floor in the second half.
Baylor had a good balance of scorers with three players with double-digits led by junior forward NaLyssa Smith, who went 8-12 from the floor. The Bears went 7-18 from three, but the Wildcats took over the battle inside the paint outscoring Baylor 26-24.
Three K-State guards had four assists and the Wildcats had 17 assists on 20 field goals.
“We were sharing the ball well,” junior guard Rachel Ranke said. “I felt like we were finding each other, making the right plays, not trying to do too much, and making the right pass.”
Despite the efficient ball passing game, the Wildcats had 21 turnovers, which Baylor scored 12 points off of.
The Wildcats play TCU at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The game is broadcasted on ESPN+. K-State originally was scheduled to play the Horned Frogs in January, but the home match-up was postponed because of COVID-19.