WACO, Texas (AP)Queen Egbo had another double-double and No. 7 Baylor rebounded from its first loss in nearly a year. The defending national champion Lady Bears now have a long break – from playing games.
“You give them some days off and then you come back and you work and just get after each other,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “Sometimes playing against each other is your best games. We’ll scrimmage and do things and put in some tweaks here and there and watch film and just get better.”
Egbo, getting more extensive playing time without preseason AP All-America post Lauren Cox out because of a foot injury, had 20 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double in six games in a 72-38 win over Georgia on Wednesday.
With a month before their Big 12 opener on Jan. 4 at Oklahoma, the Lady Bears have only two more games before then. Their next game is in two weeks.
Baylor (8-1) had won 36 in a row overall before their loss Saturday night to then-No. 5 South Carolina at a tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“The loss was definitely heartbreaking knowing you shouldn’t have lost,” Egbo said. “Sometimes, teams want to hang on to it and dwell. But coach just emphasized getting over it and playing defense and playing our style of basketball. … We were just able to naturally bounce back without doing more than what we have to do.”
NaLyssa Smith added 15 points and Te’a Cooper had her eighth consecutive double-figure scoring game with 11 points for Baylor, which extended its home winning streak to 45 games. The Lady Bears have also won 55 consecutive home games against non-conference teams since a loss to UConn in January 2014.
Maya Caldwell and Gabby Connally both had had 11 points for Georgia (6-3), which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Mulkey used all 10 of her available players. All but one played at least 13 minutes.
The Lady Bears broke an early 5-all tie and went ahead to stay with a 10-2 run capped by Juicy Landrum’s 3-pointer. They also scored the final 10 points of the second quarter, taking a 39-20 halftime lead on a 3 by Moon Ursin.
Georgia: The Lady Bulldogs shot a season-low 24.1 percent (14 of 58) from the field. They had several extended shooting slumps, missing 10 of 11 late in the first quarter and their last eight shots before halftime. In the second half, they missed 14 consecutive shots after Caldwell’s layup with 2:43 left in the third quarter until Stephanie Paul’s layup with 2:11 left in the game.
“Give Baylor credit, they’re long, and they’re athletic and I think that they rushed us,” Georgia coach Joni Taylor said. “In some cases, we got the shot we wanted and didn’t make it, and in some cases we rushed our shot because of their defense and because of their length and it bothered us.”
Baylor: Cox missed her seventh game in a row because of a stress reaction in her right foot. Cox is continuing her rehab, and it is unclear when she will return.
Georgia doesn’t play again until Dec. 15 against Furman, the first of four consecutive home games before the Lady Bulldogs open SEC play Jan. 2 at Ole Miss.
“We’ve got a nice break here and it will give us a chance to get back to just practicing and working on us,” Taylor said. “This will give us a chance, with a young team, we’re really young, to get back to the basics and work on us on both ends of the floor.”
Baylor has only two more games this month, both at home, Dec. 18 against Arkansas State and Dec. 30 against Morehead State.