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No. 5 Baylor Lady Bears vs. No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes, Game Preview, Game Thread and Video Replay

The Lady Bears Battle the Buckeyes for the Gulf Coast Showcase Championship.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Baylor vs Texas Tech Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5/6 Baylor Lady Bears vs. 8/8 Ohio State Buckeyes

The No. 5 Baylor Lady Bears take on the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes this evening in the Championship Final of the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament in Estero, Florida.

Authorized Live Stream Baylor vs. Ohio State Begins at 6:30 p.m. CT

Live Streaming begins here at Our Daily Bears at 6:30 p.m. CT. Baylor IMG’s Rick May and Lori Foglemean have provided play by play and color commentary during the previous live streams and we hope that is the case this evening. If not, then you can always hit mute on the viewer and listen to the Baylor IMG coverage here at this link (be sure and right click to open to a new tab) although that might put the sync off a little.

The No. 5/6 Lady Bears advance to the tournament final with victories over the Kent State Golden Flashes 84-72 and the No. 18/17 DePaul Blue Demons 104-72. The No. 8/8 Buckeyes advance to the tournament final with victories over the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 79-66 and the No. 11/18 Syracuse Orange 77-72.

Both teams are are coming into this evening’s match up with one loss each. Baylor is 6-1 on the season and Ohio State is 5-1. The Bears’ lone loss came from No. 2 Connecticut 72-61 while the Buckeyes’ sole loss came from No. 3 South Carolina 92-80.

Oho State’s Head Coach Kevin McGuff says that the chance to confront Baylor’s bigs is the reason they are here at this tournament. ''They've got a great team, talented, well-coached,'' McGuff said of the Bears, who rolled past DePaul in Saturday's other semifinal. ''They're the biggest team in college basketball and we've got a great challenge on our hands. But that's why we came to this tournament.''

Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell, Sierra Calhoun and Stephanie Mavunga each had double digit scores against Syracuse and Shayla Cooper had double digit rebounds. Mitchell’s 24 points, including two big 3-pointers late, led the scoring for the Buckeyes. Sierra Calhoun scored 19 in the game to go along with seven rebounds.

“We played really well at the end of the second quarter, and started the third quarter well, but we started to lose defensively,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “When you do that they’re going to make shots. They really made us pay during that stretch.”

“That fourth quarter was one to remember,” Ohio State junior guard Mitchell said. “Being able to buckle down against a team like that says a lot about our team, a lot about our growth. We’ve got a lot more to work on, but that’s a start.”

"They just came in the rhythm of the offense," Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said of Mitchell's two big 3-pointers late. "She's such a great player and makes a lot of big shots She really kind of took over and made a lot of great plays for us down the stretch,” McGuff said on Mitchell’s performance.

While the Buckeyes struggled to maintain the win yesterday, Baylor’s Head Coach Kim Mulkey has been conducting a clinic for her team, continuously rotating players in off the bench gaining them valuable playing time and experience. A total of seven Bears came in off the bench in yesterdays game contributing 35 points to the 104 point total.

All American Nina Davis played just 15 minutes in yesterday’s game and came away with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

Alexis Prince played 32 minutes and had a team high 19 points along with 8 rebounds and 2 assists. “When you start out you’re both excited, everybody wants to do good,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “I was extremely proud of Alexis Prince.”

“Everybody was finding me,” Prince said. “I was just trying to contribute any way that I can to help my team.”

Forward Beatrice Mompremier in 26 minutes had 14 points, 2 blocks, 6 rebounds and 4 personal fouls.

“Because they shoot so many threes at all positions I thought it would be a challenge for our post players, and it was,” Mulkey said. “It’s hard to guard the three ball when you’re 6’7, 6’5, 6’4, and we did okay.”

Aside from Davis coming back and forth from the bench like the Tazmanian Devil and Prince with a game high 19 points, Alexis Jones and Kristi Wallace stole the show. Wallace in 34 minutes had 15 assists, 8 rebounds, 1 steal and 5 points. Jones in 30 minutes had 8 assists, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 15 points.

“Our two guards, when they play like that it makes the game so much easier for all of us,” Prince said. “And when we’re playing like that I feel like its going to be hard to stop us.”

Shortly after the start of the 3rd quarter, Coach Kim Mulkey put in Nina Davis who sat on the bench for the most of the 1st half. Baylor scored more points in the third quarter than they did in the entire first half. Once the spark had been given and the game blown wide open, Coach Mulkey sat Nina Davis back down on the bench with minutes still left in the 3rd. Coach Mulkey would continue to rotate Davis back into the game whenever the lead dropped much below 30 and when she recovered the cushion, she would take her back out again. Coach Mulkey regularly shuttled in and out players throughout the game but it was Davis on the floor that was the trans-warp drive difference maker.

“The second half we shot it extremely well, we executed, didn’t turn the ball over,” Mulkey said. “At the end of all the trapping and pressing we just got layup after layup which is good to see. So now we play for a championship tomorrow and maybe it will be more of a conventional matchup with post players that stay inside more.”

“I feel like that’s going to be another tough game for us,” Prince said. “So we’re gonna watch them this game to see what we have and be ready for them.”