Cox has double-double, No. 8 Baylor beats Missouri State (Nov 23, 2017)
BIMINI, Bahamas (AP) Baylor coach Kim Mulkey and sophomore forward Lauren Cox were glad to be back in the game.
Cox had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots in her return for the No. 8 Lady Bears, who also had Mulkey back for their 100-58 victory over Missouri State on Thursday after the two missed Baylor’s Top 10 showdown loss at UCLA last weekend.
”Just to start running up and down the court again and getting in the flow of the game, it felt really good,” said Cox, who was hospitalized last week due to complications from her diabetes caused by strep throat that led to symptoms of dehydration, nausea and vomiting.
Mulkey didn’t make the trip to UCLA after her daughter, former Lady Bears player and current staffer Makenzie Fuller, lost a baby about 18 weeks into her pregnancy. The baby had two life-threatening birth defects, and had no heartbeat when Fuller went to a doctor’s appointment last week. Fuller delivered the baby early Friday after doctors induced labor.
”For me it was good to be back with the basketball team from my perspective,” Mulkey said. ”Good to be back in a gym. … It’s fun to be able to be on the sidelines.”
Mulkey acknowledged that it had been a tough time for her family and the team, and that the test of character in life comes when things don’t go as expected or desired.
”We didn’t just have things that didn’t suit us. We had life lessons,” Mulkey said. ”We had the health of a young lady (Cox) that’s out of her control, and then we had the death of a baby that’s out of our control. But it’s how we react to it.”
Kalani Brown scored 20 points and Alexis Morris 17 as Baylor (4-1) led throughout in the Junkanoo Jam game in the Bahamas.
Alexa Willard had 13 points for Missouri State (1-3). Aubrey Buckley scored 12, all before halftime.
After Cox scored on a jumper 17 seconds into Thursday’s game, the sophomore starting forward had a steal that led to a layup by Dekeiya Cohen less than a minute in for a 6-0 lead. The Lady Bears built a double-digit lead for good only 5 minutes in after Cox’s jumper made it 16-5.
”It was good to see her healthy and back on the floor after what she went through,” Mulkey said.
”We really wanted to get off to a quick start,” Cox said. ”We haven’t been doing that lately. … That’s what gets us going.”
Missouri St: The Lady Bears from Missouri are playing their first games outside of the United States since 2012. They are 11-6 in such games. Missouri State had won its last two games against Baylor, but those were before Mulkey became the Baylor coach. In Waco in 1998, Jackie Stiles converted a four-point play with 2.6 seconds left in an 87-86 victory.
Baylor: The Big 12 Lady Bears scored 100 points for the third time this season. Cox and Brown combined to make 15 of 22 shots.
Cox had seven of Baylor’s nine blocked shots. (Missouri State had none). ”Those big blocks like that, they hype up us, they’re exciting,” Cox said. ”I love to get those.”
Mulkey likes them to as long as Cox is under control and doesn’t pick up unnecessary fouls.
Missouri State plays in a third-place game Friday night in a Junkanoo Jam consolation game against Penn or Georgia Tech.
Baylor gets a day off in the Bahamas before playing Saturday in the championship game against Penn or Georgia Tech.