WACO, Texas (AP) — Queen Egbo doesn’t need to analyze much to figure out the key to her two best games of the season.
The Baylor center just has to stay out of foul trouble, although coach Kim Mulkey can find a teaching moment within that concept as well.
Egbo recorded her second double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, NaLyssa Smith scored 16 points with eight boards and the No. 7 Lady Bears took control in the second quarter of an 86-52 victory over Southern on Wednesday.
After scoring a career-high 25 points with 11 rebounds in a win against South Florida in her season debut, Egbo didn’t reach double figures in points or rebounds for three straight games, including when she fouled out in the only loss for Baylor (5-1) at No. 12 Arkansas.
Egbo, who has 12 career double-doubles, spent long stretches on the bench because of foul trouble in Big 12 victories over West Virginia and Texas Tech, but the 6-foot-3 junior had her only foul against the Jaguars in the fourth quarter. She had two against South Florida.
“It’s a fine line between her playing hard and her realizing that you don’t stop playing defense,” Mulkey said. “You still have to start the game playing hard. And I thought at the beginning, she played not to foul. And that’s not how you improve that.
“I think the game started, and her guy got eight of their I don’t know how many points. So, that’s not good. So, you’ve just got to keep teaching it.”
Egbo and Smith scored six points apiece during an 18-2 run to finish the first half, turning a six-point lead into a 22-point margin at the break as the Lady Bears extended the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 59 games. Baylor outscored Southern 23-5 in the second quarter.
Trinity Oliver scored six of her 12 points — two off the junior’s career high — early in the third quarter to spark a 15-0 run that pushed the lead to 34 at 58-24. Freshman Hannah Gusters matched her season high with 13 points.
Tyneisha Metcalf had 10 points and Raven White scored nine while matching the team high of five rebounds for Southern (0-4).
Baylor dominated rebounding again, particularly on the offensive end to fuel a 35-4 advantage in second-chance points. Egbo and Smith each grabbed six offensive rebounds, more than Southern had as a team, to lead Baylor’s 27-5 edge.
The Lady Bears outrebounded the Jaguars by 32 (53-21) overall after finishing 33 better than Texas Tech in a 91-45 win two days earlier.
“I can’t tell you that it was anything to put in a highlight film, but I don’t take things for granted either,” Mulkey said. “Everybody got to play and I think everybody scored.”
Southern: The Jaguars’ nonconference record doesn’t figure to be an indication of their chances of contending in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Five of the six scheduled games are against teams from Power Five conferences, all on the road. Southern’s first home game at the moment is the SWAC opener against Prairie View A&M on Jan. 2.
Baylor: The Lady Bears have been woeful from 3-point range this season, shooting 26%, which may help explain the past two games being the first two of the season with fewer than 10 attempts. Baylor finished 3 of 8 after Sarah Andrews sank a pair in the fourth quarter. Baylor also had a huge size advantage inside against Texas Tech and Southern.
RICH GET RICHER
An NCAA ruling making transfers immediately eligible is good news for the Lady Bears. Jaden Owens, a top recruit out of the Dallas area in 2019, will be available. She played her freshman season at UCLA and was expected to sit out in 2020-21 under transfer rules.
Smith, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, had her 14th career double-double in the opener and came close for the second straight game. The 6-2 junior had 21 points and nine rebounds against the Lady Raiders.
DiJonai Carrington, who got a medical waiver for a season with Baylor as a graduate transfer from Stanford, had season lows in points (three) and shots (five). Carrington was in double figures in four of the first five games.
Southern: At No. 13 Mississippi State on Friday for a second straight test against a Top 25 team.
Baylor: Northwestern State at home Friday in the second of three afternoon nonconference games in a span of four days.
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25