ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — NaLyssa Smith scored 18 points as No. 2 Baylor pulled ahead early and cruised past Washington State’s women’s basketball team 89-66 on Thursday at the Paradise Jam tournament.

Queen Egbo added 16 points, DiDi Richards had 14 and Te’a Cooper 10 for the Bears (6-0). The defending national champions led by double digits in the first 3½ minutes and cruised to their 35th consecutive victory.

“I just look at how we’re surviving on the floor without Lauren Cox,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “We’re getting better on the offensive end, but defensively we’re pretty special.”

Chanelle Molina scored 25 to surpass 1,000 career points, and Borislava Hristova had 15 for the Cougars (4-1).

Baylor had control from the outset, scoring the first 10 points and racing to a 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Bears led by 22 points twice in the second quarter, and took their largest lead in the fourth, when Erin DeGrate’s layup made it 89-64.

“Their defensive pressure really took us out of everything we wanted to do,” Washington State coach Kamie Ethridge said. “It was great to see the bounce back in the second half and see us really get committed to running our stuff, getting the ball moving a little bit instead of just dribbling. If we don’t turn the ball over, we have a chance to score some points.”

The Cougars next will play No. 5 South Carolina at 5 p.m. today.

BIG PICTURE — The Cougars are still off to their best start since the 2016-2017 season, when they also were 4-1. That loss came against Oklahoma State, which is competing in a different division at the Paradise Jam.

WASHINGTON ST. (4-1)

Hristova 7-13 1-2 15, Levy 1-6 0-0 2, Motuga 2-5 2-2 7, Nankervis 0-1 3-6 3, Cha. Molina 8-14 5-6 25, Subasic 2-5 0-0 6, Murekatete 0-0 0-0 0, Cel. Molina 0-1 0-0 0, Che. Molina 2-5 4-4 8, Muzet 0-3 0-0 0, Totals 22-53 15-20 66.

BAYLOR (6-0)

Smith 8-17 2-2 18, Egbo 8-11 0-0 16, Cooper 5-8 0-0 10, Landrum 1-5 2-2 5, Richards 5-9 4-7 14, Bickle 1-2 6-7 8, DeGrate 3-4 2-2 8, Jor. Oliver 1-2 0-0 2, Tri. Oliver 2-3 0-0 4, Ursin 2-3 0-0 4, Totals 36-64 16-20 89.

WSU 7 17 23 19 — 66

Baylor 19 25 26 19 — 89

3-point goals — Washington St. 7-18 (Hristova 0-1, Levy 0-1, Motuga 1-4, Cha. Molina 4-8, Subasic 2-2, Che. Molina 0-1, Muzet 0-1), Baylor 1-4 (Smith 0-1, Cooper 0-2, Landrum 1-1). Fouled out — Motuga, Subasic. Rebounds — Washington St. 26 (Cha. Molina 5), Baylor 37 (Landrum 8). Assists — Washington St. 8 (Cha. Molina 3), Baylor 22 (Landrum 7). Total fouls — Washington St. 24, Baylor 17. A — n/a.

VOLLEYBALLVandals’ season ends at Big Sky tourney

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Idaho volleyball team raced out to a 2-0 lead but couldn’t register a victory in a third set, and the Vandals’ season ultimately came to an end in a 19-25, 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 15-8 defeat at the hands of Northern Arizona at Colberg Court on the campus of Sacramento State during the Big Sky Conference tournament.

The Vandals (13-18) had taken the first set with relative ease and fought hard to take a commanding advantage. Needing just one set to take down the Lumberjacks (21-10), Idaho couldn’t finish.

The two teams split the regular-season series, with the Vandals winning 3-1 at Memorial Gym in Moscow on Oct. 17 but falling 3-0 this past Saturday at NAU.

Nikki Ball led Idaho with 18 kills, Kyra Palmbush added 12 and Paige Rupiper finished her career with 11 kills and 11 digs. Donnee Janzen contributed 54 assists. Becca Owen chipped in 23 digs, Delaney Hopen had 12 and Alaina Lacey 10.

Heaven Harris paced four Lumberjacks with double-digit kills, tallying 21. Taylor Jacobsen added 19 kills and 11 digs, Abby Akin had 14 kills and Ryann Davis finished with 10. Abby Stomp had 37 assists and Aubrea Bandfield added 26. Jasmine West tallied 20 digs.

The Vandals built a 17-8 lead in the first set before closing it out. The second was close throughout, with NAU taking a 24-22 advantage before Idaho scored the final four points. The Jacks pulled away in the third, then went on a 7-1 run to win the fourth and force a decisive fifth set. NAU jumped out early in the fifth and never looked back.

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