WACO, Texas — Kalani Brown scored 23 points, freshman NaLyssa Smith had her first double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 4 Baylor trailed briefly in the middle of the first quarter before rolling to a 116-58 victory over Saint Francis of Pennsylvania on Thursday night.
Chloe Jackson had 15 points, six assists and four steals for the Lady Bears (2-0), who won a second straight game against an overmatched opponent that reached the NCAA Tournament last season before losing to a No. 1 seed.
Jess Kovatch scored 14 points for the Red Flash (0-2), whose 12th NCAA appearance ended in the first round against UConn last season. Nicholls State, which lost to Baylor 100-39 in the opener, fell to top-seeded Mississippi State.
Jackson, a graduate transfer from LSU whose role grew substantially when point guard Alexis Morris was kicked off the team in September for an unspecified violation of team rules, had 13 points, four assists and all four of her steals at halftime.
Three of Jackson’s first-half steals were intercepted passes that led to breakaway layups as she made all five shots before halftime.
Baylor finished the first quarter on a 25-0 run after Saint Francis took a 9-7 lead by making three straight 3-pointers. The Red Flash then shot 11 in a row from long range, missing them all.
Saint Francis shot 28 per cent, with 17 of their 20 field goals and 57 of their 71 shots coming from behind the arc.
Brown, the 6-foot-7 preseason All-America, was 11 of 14 from the field to help the Lady Bears shoot 66 per cent. She scored 10 points in the third quarter, which included an 18-0 Baylor run.
Juicy Landrum, who scored five points, led Baylor with 11 rebounds and seven assists. Baylor outrebounded Saint Francis 62-23.
Kovatch, who set an NCAA record with 141 3-pointers last season and was the nation’s second-leading scorer at 24.1 points per game, was 5 of 15 from behind the arc.
Saint Francis: After blowout losses against a pair of high-profile opponents (Rutgers was the opener), the Red Flash get a few games against teams that figure to look more like Northeast Conference opponents. The next bigger name is Washington in mid-December.
Baylor: Turnovers were the spark for the first big run by the Lady Bears. They forced 11 in the first quarter for half of their 32 points. Saint Francis finished with 28 turnovers for 42 Baylor points.
St. Francis: At Liberty on Saturday.
Baylor: No. 23 Arizona State at Fort Defiance on Navajo reservation in Arizona on Sunday.