AP Photo/Jerry Larson
WACO, Texas (AP) — Kalani Brown scored 21 points and top-seeded Baylor overwhelmed much smaller Texas Southern 119-30 on Saturday night in the most lopsided women’s NCAA Tournament game ever.
The Lady Bears (31-3) were ahead 22-0 after Alexis Jones, on her first shot in her first game since Feb. 20, hit a 3-pointer just more than 6 minutes into the game.
The 89-point margin broke the previous record 74-point win by Tennessee over North Carolina A&T (111-37) in 1994.
Baylor’s 119 points were the most ever scored in regulation of a women’s NCAA Tournament game, surpassing the previous record 116. Ohio State scored 116 in a 1998 game, and UConn matched twice, including earlier Saturday.
Joyce Kennerson had 19 points for Texas Southern (23-10), which made the NCAA Tournament for the first time after winning the SWAC Tournament.
Brown, at 6-foot-7 about 3 inches taller than Texas Southern’s tallest player, was 9-of-10 shooting. All her baskets came in the paint, including a half-ending tip-in for a 61-13 lead.
Beatrice Mompromier, at 6-4, scored 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting off the bench for Lady Bears, and 6-4 freshman Lauren Cox had 17 points with three 3-pointers.
All 12 Baylor players who got in the game scored, six of them in double figures. All of them also had a rebound, and only one of them didn’t have an assist.
BACK IN PLAY: Jones, Baylor’s second-leading scorer, hadn’t played since sustaining a bone bruise in her surgically repaired left knee at Texas on Feb. 20. She missed five games, including the Big 12 Tournament. While she didn’t start, and wasn’t needed much or at full speed, the senior guard seemed to be moving around OK during her 12 minutes. She had five points, three rebounds and an assist.
Texas Southern: The Lady Tigers had only one senior, so they will have most everybody back next season with a taste of the NCAA Tournament. While the final result was a bit jarring, coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry wanted her team to learn from the experience. Her players talked about just that after the game.
Baylor: The Lady Bears finished two points short of the NCAA Tournament record of 121 points set by Alabama in a four-overtime one-point victory over Duke in 1995. Baylor is 12-1 in NCAA Tournament games in the Ferrell Center, where it is hosting first- and second-round games for the fifth year in a row. With a quickly lopsided game, Mulkey was able to play everybody while keeping the starters fresh (none played in the fourth quarter and Kristy Walace’s 22 minutes were the most) and getting some valuable postseason experience for three freshmen.
Baylor will try to get to its ninth consecutive Sweet 16 when it plays LSU or California at home Monday night.