MANHATTAN, Kansas — Kristy Wallace was as disappointed as any Baylor player when she saw a zero on the scoreboard over four minutes into the game. However, the freshman knew it was only a matter of time before the Lady Bears broke it open.
They hit 8 of 14 from 3-point range in the first half, giving No. 5 Baylor the scoring cushion it needed to defeat Kansas State's stout zone defense.
Nina Davis scored 24 points and Wallace added 17 to help Baylor rout Kansas State 74-44 on Tuesday night for the Lady Bears 19th straight win in the series.
Baylor (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) last lost to the Wildcats on Jan. 27, 2004.
"It was imperative that someone would step up and shoot the 3-ball to stretch that zone out," Wallace, who made 5 of 7 from deep, said. "It was lucky enough to be me today, but my teammates definitely helped me out with that."
Breanna Lewis led the Wildcats (10-3, 0-2) with 13 points while Haley Texada added 12.
Kansas State led 3-0 before Baylor scored the next 23-0 points to take control of the game. A basket from Lewis ended the Lady Bears' scoring spurt with 6:22 left before the break, giving Kansas State its first basket since the game-opening 3-pointer.
The Wildcats closed the gap to 28-14 on Texada's 3-pointer with 3:46 left in the first half, but it's as close as first-year Jeff Mittie's team would come.
"We struggled at times, and we lacked energy and focus," Mittie said. "There were a lot of things that were disappointing for me as a coach."
Baylor shot 46 percent in the first half led by Wallace's 15 points. The reserve guard spurred the Lady Bears to a 9 of 20 performance from 3-point range.
"We're never going to be a team that just relies on perimeter shooting," Mulkey said. "You don't win championships if you're one dimensional like that. (But) we've got perimeter players that if you're going to leave them open, they're going to let it fly."
Davis put the game out of reach in the second half scoring 20 of her 24 points. She has nine games this season with 20 or more.
The Lady Bears outrebounded the Wildcats 46-24.
Nina Davis, who came into the game with a league-leading 22.5 points per game, scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half. The mark gave her eight games of 20 points or more.
"When she (Wallace) drew all the attention with the double team (in the second half), we were allowed to get the ball down in the short corner and Nina was able to go to work in there."
Tuesday night's game was Kansas State's second-straight Big 12 home opener against Baylor and they've now lost back-to-back home openers after winning 12 in a row.
Baylor: The Lady Bears have been ranked in the Top 25 for 211 straight weeks. The streak dates back to week nine of the 2003-04 season.
Kansas State: Prior to the game, Kansas State led the nation in scoring defense (47.0 ppg) and was second in field goal percentage defense (32.4). The Wildcats were able to hold Baylor 14 points under its Big 12-best scoring average of 88.7 points per game.
Baylor: plays at West Virginia on Saturday.
Kansas State: hosts Kansas on Sunday.