DiDi Richards scored four points and added seven assists in her return from a scary spinal cord injury five weeks ago, Queen Egbo had a game-high 25 points and No. 4 Baylor beat South Florida 67-62 on Tuesday night.
The Lady Bears (2-0) became the 15th women’s program in Division I history to reach 1,000 wins. Baylor coach Kim Mulkey improved to 606-101 in her 21 seasons at the school.
South Florida (1-1) got 18 points from Maria Alvarez and Bethy Mununga added 13.
Richards entered three minutes into the game and quickly scored an in-close basket. The senior guard was hurt on Oct. 24 after colliding in mid-air with teammate Moon Ursin during a practice scrimmage and briefly lost feeling below her knees.
All the Baylor players wore Richards t-shirts during pregame drills.
Mununga got USF even at 53 early in the fourth with a trey but Richards then started an 8-0 Baylor run with a pair of free throws.
Trinity Oliver scored four of her 14 points in consecutive possessions to put Baylor ahead 65-58 with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Despite shooting just 28.9 percent (11 for 38), Baylor led 29-28 at halftime.
Baylor: Richards’ quick return was remarkable considering she required a walker to assist her in walking at first due to the spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality. Still, in mid-November she was completing individual drills and workouts with the training staff.
South Florida: Considered a frontrunner to win the American Athletic Conference following the departure of UCONN to the Big East, the Bulls have another shot at high-ranked opponent when they host No. 6 Mississippi State on Saturday night.
Baylor: Will travel to Arkansas on Sunday before opening up Big 12 play at West Virginia on Dec. 10.
South Florida: After playing Mississippi State on Saturday night, the Bulls' next scheduled game is the conference opener at Memphis on Dec 16.
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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