WACO, Texas – Savannah State held No. 9 Baylor without a field goal during a span of more than 6 minutes in the first half.
Only problem, the Lady Tigers still trailed by double digits when that stretch was done, and Baylor went on to a 99-31 victory Thursday night. The Lady Bears extended their nation's-best home winning streak to 61 games.
"In the first half, I was really pleased with the physical presence that we brought to the floor against Baylor, and secondly the mental toughness of the young team that I have," Savannah State coach Cedric Baker said. "I was really pleased with us getting a little close, 12-13 points down there in the first half. Then the second half, I thought we got out of rhythm, but I have to give credit to Baylor University of course for that."
Savannah State (2-1) had three baskets in a minute, with a steal and breakaway layup by Kenyata Hendrick coming between a pair of layups by Jasmine Kirkland. The Lady Tigers then called a timeout with 9:27 left in the half, and never got closer.
"We're typically not a zone team. Tonight we had to go to a half-court zone, and we had some luck out of it.," Baker said.
Those three quick field goals were the only points the Lady Tigers scored while Baylor (4-0) missed eight straight baskets. That shooting drought by the Lady Bears ended on Nina Davis' putback basket of her own miss with 6 minutes left for a 27-13 lead.
Kristina Higgins and Sune Agbuke, the Lady Bears' two tallest players, both double-doubles.
"Yes, it's very important. We are guard-heavy, but at the same time we need our posts to score and run, rebound," said Odyssey Sims, the senior point guard and preseason AP All-American who had 22 points. "And they do a very good job. ... Coach is on them about finishing, and I think they were focusing more on being able to finish and be strong with it."
The 6-foot-5 Higgins had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while 6-4 Agbuke had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"If you get the ball, finish and score," Higgins said. "So, that's what we were trying to do tonight, and I think we did pretty well with that. "
Davis, one of five freshmen getting plenty of playing time for Baylor, finished with 17 points. Sims was the only returning starter after the departures of 6-8 Brittney Griner and four other seniors.
Savannah State shot only 22 percent overall (12 of 56) while missing all 15 of its 3-pointers, becoming the first team since Texas A&M on Feb. 25, 2007, to not make a shot from beyond the arc against Baylor.
"We were just focused on contesting the shots, and then going and getting the rebound," Sims said.
It was the first of three games in three days for both teams in the round-robin Athletes In Action Classic at the Ferrell Center.
Baylor plays Friday against Northwestern State, which lost 62-49 to Texas-San Antonio in the first game Thursday. The Lady Tigers play UTSA.