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Lady Bears cruise to Big 12 Tournament semifinals with 92-55 domination of TCU

Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship, March 12, 2021
Posted at 3:33 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 18:13:07-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Baylor Lady Bears kicked off their quest for their ninth Big 12 Tournament title in 11 years with a 92-55 win over TCU Friday afternoon.

The win extends Baylor's win streak over the Horned Frogs to 32 straight games.

Baylor and TCU both struggled to put the ball in the basket during the first quarter. The teams combined to go 4-17 (24 percent) during the first 3:02 of the game.

Senior leader Didi Richards picked up her second foul of the game with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter. She would sit on the bench for the rest of the first half before finally returning to the game after halftime.

In her absence, the Lady Bears relied on the Big 12 Women's Basketball Player of the Year, NaLyssa Smith, to carry the load. Smith scored 8 points in the first quarter alone.

On the defensive end, Baylor held TCU to seven first quarter points on 3-19 shooting. The Horned Frogs made just one of their final eight shots in the quarter

In the second quarter, the Lady Bears turned on the jets, going on a 6-0 run in just 0:38 to take a 33-18 lead. TCU would not bring the game back within single digits, and Baylor cruised to a 92-55 win.

Smith led the Lady Bears with 26 points on 11-16 shooting. She finished with game with seven rebounds.

She was honored pregame with the trophy recognizing her as the conference's top player.

Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship, March 12, 2021
TCU and Baylor compete during the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri on March 12, 2021. (Scott D. Weaver/Big 12 Conference)

In total, nine Lady Bears saw at least eight minutes of playing time, as Mulkey worked to conserve energy and avoid injury ahead of Baylor's potential tournament runs.

One dark spot for Baylor was its inability to avoid turnovers. The Lady Bears gave up the ball 17 times, leading to 19 TCU points.

With the win, Baylor moves on to the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals, where they will play Texas, who took down Iowa State in overtime during their quarterfinal matchup.

Tip off is set for 12 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+.