WACO, Texas — Kalani Brown wants to average a double-double this season. She’s off to a strong start.
Baylor’s 6-foot-7 center had 26 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Lady Bears to a 121-62 rout of Lamar on Friday night in the season opener.
“It was actually one of my goals to average a double-double this year,” she said. “I was close last year. I averaged 15 (points) and eight (rebounds), so I’m trying to give it a little help. Having the dominance is what coach wants me to do, so I’m just going to continue keep doing it.”
Brown had no problem with Lamar’s much smaller inside players — none taller than 6-2. Baylor controlled inside, outscoring Lamar in the paint, 68-12. The Lady Bears also outrebounded Lamar, 62-29, and blocked eight shots.
Lamar coach Robin Harmony said there was just one way that her team was able to contain Brown.
“She pretty much could do whatever she wanted,” Harmony said. “The only time we stopped her is when she got three seconds” in the lane called on her.
Natalie Chou added 20 points and nine rebounds, Dekeiya Cohen had 16 points. Kristy Wallace scored 15 and Alexis Morris scored 12 for Baylor.
Chastadie Barrs scored 14 and Jaelyn Pimentel had 10 points for Lamar (0-1).
Lamar took an early lead, 10-7, but Baylor pulled away with a 25-2 run that left the Lady Bears up 34-12 with 1:48 left in the first quarter.
“Well, we didn’t start good,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “We’re not a polished product. Yeah, you’ve got effort, you’ve got hustle plays. You had a little nervousness out there with some of them. It’s the first game of the year.
Lamar was 20-of-75 (26 percent) from the field and 13-of-25 (52 percent) from the free throw line.
“It could have been better. It could have been worse,” Harmony said. “You just can’t break down. I think we missed 10 layups. And free throw line is another story.”
All five Baylor starters scored in double figures. The Lady Bears have 10 players on their roster, and they all saw action. Nine of them scored.
Lamar was picked to win the Southland Conference in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches and sports information director. Three Cardinals were named preseason all-conference.
Baylor freshman Alexis Morris came off the bench to score 12 points and made eight of 10 free throw attempts. She also contributed four assists and a rebound in 24 minutes.
SHE SAID IT
“When we come to our conference, it’s nothing like this at all. In our conference, we’ll reverse roles. We’ll be the Baylor and everybody else will be the Lamar. That’s what you can hope for, I guess.” — Harmony said.
Freshman guard, Jaelyn Pimentel, Lamar’s only underclassman to start the game, picked up her fourth foul with 4:05 left in the second quarter. She left the game with 10 points, and was the only Cardinal in double figures in the first half. She played 13 minutes in the second half and scored just two more points.
Baylor: plays the second of three games in five days when the Bears host Coppin State on Sunday.
Lamar: hosts Louisiana College, from the American Southwest Conference, on Monday.