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Daily Bears Report 1/17/17

Lauren Cox picks up 3rd Big XII Freshman Award.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Texas Christian at Baylor Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Men's Basketball, vs Texas, 6:00 PM CT, Watch, Listen

Lady Bears Basketball

  • Two Baylor women’s basketball signees, Alexis Morris and Didi Richards, have been named McDonald’s All-Americans and will play for the West in the 16th-annual McDonald’s All-American Game. From Baylor Bears dot com.

A total of 24 players were selected to participate, 12 representing the East and 12 representing the West. The game is set for March 29 at 4 p.m. (CT) at the United Center in Chicago. It will air live on ESPN2.

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey has coached 14 McDonald’s All-American recruits in her tenure, and has had two recruits honored in each of the last three years. The Lady Bears boast six McDonald’s All-Americans on their current roster, including redshirt seniors Alexis Jones and Alexis Prince (2012 – John R. Wooden Most Valuable Player Award), sophomores Kalani Brown and Beatrice Mompremier and freshmen Natalie Chou and Lauren Cox.

Morris (5-6 point guard), a native of Beaumont, Texas, is a three-time Texas Association of Parochial Schools 3A Player of the Year, a 2016 USA Today All-Texas second team selection and a 2017 Naismith Trophy High School Midseason 25 pick. The five-star recruit is the No. 6 ranked point guard and the No. 18 player overall in her recruiting class.

Morris has led Legacy Christian Academy to a 23-2 record this season, averaging 31.3, points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 4.5 assists per game.

Richards (6-1 guard), a native of Houston, Texas, is a two-time All-District first team selection and was recently named to the 2017 Naismith Trophy High School Midseason 25 list. The all-time leading scorer at Cypress High School for both the girls and boys basketball programs has guided the Mustangs to an 18-6 record this season, averaging 17.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Richards is a five-star recruit, who is rated No. 4 among guards and No. 16 overall in her recruiting class.

To view East and West rosters and learn more about the McDonald’s All-American Games, visit www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com.

The 2017 Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year picked up her first honor on Nov. 27 and her second on Dec. 19.

The 6-4 freshman led Baylor to a pair of victories last week, averaging a team-high 16 points per game and shooting a team-high 76.5 percent from the field.

Cox paced the squad with 19 points against TCU, knocking down 8-of-9 field goal attempts. She also registered four blocks, two assists and two rebounds in just 22 minutes on the court.

At Kansas, Cox reached double figures with 13 points and added a team-high nine rebounds to finish just shy of her first career double-double. The Flower Mound, Texas, native recorded all of her points and rebounds in the second half, recovering from early foul trouble to make the most of her 16 minutes on the floor. Cox made 5-of-8 field goal attempts in Baylor’s sixth Big 12 win.

The Lady Bears play two Big 12 games at home this week, beginning with Iowa State on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. (CT). After its first matchup of the season with the Cyclones, Baylor will meet West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 1 p.m.

Men’s Tennis

In the last match of the tournament, Benitez posted a 6-0, 6-4 victory against Tchoutakian to win the singles crown. Baylor players have now won four Sherwood singles titles overall and two straight with Benitez joining Matija Zgaga (2006), Lars Poerschke (2008) and Julian Lenz(2016).

Prior to their singles match, Benitez and Tchoutakian teamed together for a 7-5 victory in the doubles title match over USC's Robbie Bellamy and Jake DeVine. The duo is the first BU tandem to win the doubles crown at the event since 2008 when Attila Bucko and Denes Lukacs took home the trophy.

Monday marked the first time that two Bears played against each other in Sherwood singles final.

Benitez produced a perfect 5-0 singles record at the event in his first action of the year, winning all of his matches in straight sets, including two wins over ranked foes UCLA's Joseph DiGuilio (No. 90) and the 44th-ranked Tchoutakian.

The loss for Tchoutakian stops an eight-match winning streak in singles dating back to Nov. 10, 2016. He finished 4-1 at the tournament and now owns a 13-6 singles record on the year.

As a doubles duo, Benitez and Tchoutakian are 5-0, after a 4-0 performance in California. The BU pairing had previously played together once in 2014-15 - another win.

"It was a great weekend for us. There was some really tough competition out there. One of our goals was to have one of our guys win it, so to win the singles and doubles was a super way to start the spring season." - head coach Matt Knoll on winning the singles and doubles titles.

"When you play eight guys, you never have everyone play their best tennis on the same weekend. We certainly had some guys not play their best tennis, but on balance it was a really, really good performance for our team. We had a bunch of guys do good things and really get better. We accomplished everything we could have hoped to accomplish out there and it was just a super way to get started." - Knoll on the tournament weekend.

The Bears will now return to Waco to begin their 2017 dual-match season with a doubleheader. BU will host Incarnate Word and Grand Canyon Saturday, Jan. 21, at 1 and 6 p.m., respectively, at the Hurd Tennis Center.

For more information on the Baylor men's tennis team all season long, follow the team's official Twitter and Instagram account: @BaylorMTennis.

Men’s Basketball