Baylor Women Open NCAA Tourney 77-36 Over Northwestern State

Nina Davis scored 17 points and Baylor won at home again in the NCAA Tournament, advancing with a 77-36 first-round victory over Northwestern State on Friday.

The Big 12 champion Lady Bears (31-3), the No. 2 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, took control with an early 14-2 run in which Davis and Khadijah Cave each had six points to break a 7-7 tie and go ahead to stay.

Alexis Prince had 14 points for Baylor, including a 3-pointer to cap a 15-3 run after halftime with seven of eight shots made to go up 60-29.

The Lady Bears have won 20 home games in a row overall, including the first two rounds in last year's NCAA Tournament. They opened at home for the fourth time in five years, and are now 7-0 in those NCAA games.

Baylor will try to get to the Sweet 16 for the seventh consecutive season when it hosts Arkansas (18-13) on Sunday. The Razorbacks from the SEC rallied for a 57-55 win over Northwestern of the Big Ten in the first game at Waco on Friday.

Janelle Perez had 10 points for Southland Conference tournament champion Northwestern State (19-15) coached by Brooke Stoehr, who like Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was an NCAA Final Four point guard at Louisiana Tech.

After playing for Leon Barmore at Louisiana Tech, Mulkey was an associate head coach for the legendary women's coach and recruited Stoehr to play there. Mulkey was there for the younger guard's first two seasons before leaving in 2000 for the Baylor job.

Northwestern State, which opened the game with a shot-clock violation on its first possession and then an air ball on a 3-point try the next one, tied the game at 7 on Tia Youngblood's jumper with 15:22 left in the first half.

Davis made two free throws only 20 seconds later to start the 14-2 run. All of Cave's points in that came on three layups, the last with 11:50 left to make it 21-9.


Northwestern St.: The Lady Demons shot only 24 percent (14 of 59) overall. They had only six field goals after halftime.

Baylor: The Lady Bears finished with a 53-26 rebounding advantage. Their 39 defensive rebounds were their most ever in an NCAA Tournament game. ... Baylor has won 151 consecutive home games against unranked opponents, since losing to Auburn in the 2003 WNIT finals.


Northwestern St.: Season over.

Baylor: Play Arkansas in second-round game Sunday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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