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Defending national champ Baylor women open with 97-29 win

WACO, Texas (AP) — NaLyssa Smith and preseason AP All-America post Lauren Cox had double-doubles for No. 2 Baylor and the defending national champion Lady Bears opened the season with a 97-29 win over New Hampshire on Tuesday night.

Smith had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Lady Bears, while Cox had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting with 10 rebounds. Erin DeGrate, a transfer from Texas Tech who previously played for Louisville, had 18 points in her Baylor debut, and Queen Egbo had 14 points.

The Lady Bears got their championship rings and raised a third national title banner in a pregame ceremony, then scored the game’s first 37 points.

Baylor led 51-3 at halftime, the fewest points scored in a half by a Lady Bears opponent, but not the lowest for a Division I team. Western Kentucky had a 56-2 halftime lead over Lipscomb three seasons ago, a game the Hilltoppers won 87-35.

New Hampshire missed its first 18 shots and didn’t score until Maggie Ahearn’s bounce pass to Caroline Soucy for a layup with 6:15 left in the second quarter. The Wildcats from America East won only six games last season.

Amanda Torres led the Wildcats with 12 points, 11 of them after the second half. No other player scored more than three points for New Hampshire, which shot 15.5 percent (9 of 58).

BIG PICTURE

New Hampshire: Senior center Ashley Storey, who led the team with 17.1 points a game last season, finished scoreless. She was 0-for-13 shooting before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. She had three rebounds, half of average last season.

Baylor: The Lady Bears had 11 players get in the game — all of them scored and all of them had a rebound. Baylor has a 30-game winning streak and has won 40 in a row at home.

UP NEXT

New Hampshire plays at Bryant University in Rhode Island on Saturday, then has its home opener next Tuesday against Boston University.

Baylor plays the second of five consecutive home games to start the season, when the Lady Bears host Grambling on Friday night.

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Associated Press

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