WACO, Texas (AP) With Niya Johnson close to a school record, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey had her senior point guard on the floor to start the fourth quarter in a lopsided game.
Johnson responded with assists on four of Baylor’s next five field goals, giving her a school-record 19 assists to go with 10 rebounds in the No. 4 Lady Bears’ 105-46 victory over McNeese State on Sunday.
”Assists. Well, that just grabs my heart. Most kids, it’s about points,” said Mulkey, who was told about the potential record after Johnson came out with 2 minutes left in the third quarter. ”Records don’t matter to me, but if there’s ever an opportunity where you can do it, I’m not opposed to it. And they caught me at the right time.”
Freshman post Kalani Brown scored 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting for the Lady Bears (10-0). Beatrice Mompremier, another freshman post, had 15 points and 13 rebounds in her first college start.
Alexis Jones added 19 points, Nina Davis had 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting with nine rebounds and Kristy Wallace scored 11 points. Baylor shot 61 percent (43 of 71) from the field, with Johnson getting more than half of the 37 assists.
Amber Donnes scored 18 points and Frederica Haywood had 10 rebounds for McNeese State (6-3).
Johnson set a Big 12 record last season with 322 assists and entered this game as the national leader with 9.0 assists per game. Her previous career high had been 17 against Oklahoma last February, and the school record had been 18 by Darleen Primeaux on Jan. 12, 1983, also against McNeese State.
”Here we are playing off of her and doing different things just so we can help guard inside, and she’s still able to take advantage and set her teammates up for scores,” McNeese State coach Brooks Donald Williams said. ”She leads her team and does great things for them.”
The only Baylor player who saw action without scoring was Khadijiah Cave, who dislocated her right index finger in practice while going against Mompremier. ”I was going to give her a shot with the bad finger,” Mulkey said. ”And I could tell when she missed two rebounds right there in front of us, I was like, `Why am I doing this?’ … Just let that thing heal a little bit.”
LOT OF FOULS
McNeese State starters Jayln Johnson and Jasmyn Carswell both fouled out and combined for only nine points. There were four fouls for two other starters, including Allison Baggett, whose six points were eight below her team-best 14 per game average. The Cowgirls had 26 fouls. ”Our foul trouble in general gave us a lot of trouble,” their coach said. ”My starters weren’t able to play even half the game.”
McNeese State: The Cowgirls have lost six in a row against Baylor. Their last victory in the series was 85-70 at home during the 1986-87 season, in McNeese’s first women’s game in their current home arena.
Baylor: The Lady Bears are 10-0 for the fifth time in Mulkey’s 16 seasons. The last 10-0 start was during their 40-0 national championship season in 2011-12. … Baylor has won 158 consecutive home games against non-ranked opponents since losing to Auburn in a WNIT final on April 4, 2003.
McNeese State: Hosts Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday night.
Baylor: Hosts Oral Roberts on Thursday night.