MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —Alexis Jones scored 21 points but freshman Beatrice Mompremier was the bigger key in No. 4 Baylor’s 71-61 victory at No. 24 West Virginia on Saturday.
Mompremier’s 16 points and 15 rebounds prove vital as the Bears completed the home-and-home sweep in front of 4,168 fans at the WVU Coliseum.
“We didn’t guard her,” West Virginia coach Mike Carey said of the 6-foot-4 Mompremier, who was 8-of-15 from the floor while grabbing seven offensive boards. “The first game, we fronted her, half-fronted her at least, with some weakside help. But this game, we just played her from behind. I kept saying, `Front, front, front.’ Especially when Lanay (Montgomery) wasn’t out there, we just let her catch it anywhere she wanted it. She’s too good to do that.”
Freshman Tynice Martin scored 17 points for the Mountaineers (16-6, 5-4 Big 12), who have lost back-to-back games to ranked teams. Bria Holmes and Jessica Morton each scored 11 points and Montgomery finished with 10 rebounds, nine points and four blocks.
WVU led by eight in the first quarter before Baylor (21-1, 8-1) countered to lead 35-30 at halftime. Jones had 15 points by that juncture and cooled off to finish 6-of-21 from the field.
But freshman Kalani Brown scored 11 off the bench for the Bears, teaming with Mompremier to give coach Kim Mulkey top production.
That comes with time,” Mulkey said. “That’s sometimes hard for freshmen to understand when you come to a team that has returning players and some more All-Americans. They want to do good, and they want to get my attention. But you can’t rush the process. I’ve been nothing but pleased in these two since they stepped foot on campus. They may not think that sometimes when they don’t get big minutes, but it’s a process.”
The Lady Bears won the rebound battle 52-38 and outscored WVU 44-22 in the paint.
“I thought we played hard, but we didn’t play smart,” Carey said. “This game was going to be won in the paint and that’s exactly how it was won. We just didn’t do a good job. … They are a good team, and I think we’re a good team. I just think they can bring more bodies off the bench than we can, especially inside.”
West Virginia visits Texas Tech on Tuesday.