BIMINI, Bahamas (AP) Lauren Cox had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots in her return to the lineup for No. 8 Baylor, which also had coach Kim Mulkey back for a 100-58 victory over Missouri State on Thursday.
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.
Cox, a sophomore starting forward, and Mulkey both missed Saturday’s 82-68 loss in a top-10 matchup at UCLA on Saturday.
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.
Cox was hospitalized with complications of diabetes. She had symptoms of dehydration, nausea and vomiting caused by strep throat.
After Cox scored on a jumper 17 seconds into Thursday’s game, she 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.
Cohen finished with 10 points.
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, who played only 22 minutes, and Brown combined to make 15 of 22 shots.
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.