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Daily Bears Report 2/12/17 - Track & Field Rewrites Record Books

Track & Field, Basketball, Acrobatics & Tumbling, Special Olympics, Tenni, Golf and Softball

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Special Olympics

Acrobatics & Tumbling

Despite back-to-back national championships and a two-year mark of 21-0, coach Felecia Mulkey still acts and prepares "like the underdog."

"And if you come to practice and just meet them, talk to them and watch what they do, you'd never know they won two national championships," Mulkey said. "Now, when they stop on the mat, I hope the confidence is there, like a national championship team. But, their work ethic is fantastic."

The Bears are opening with Quinnipiac for the third straight year. Starting on the road last year in Hamden, Conn., Baylor closed strong with better than a four-point difference in the team routine and defeated the Bobcats, 286.960-278.775.

"We'll take a little time tomorrow to talk about Quinnipiac and why we respect the program," Mulkey said, "because we feel like if we compete out of anything other than just respect, it's going to come out in a negative way. That's super cheesy, but it's been working for me, so I'm going to keep doing it."

Baylor's 28 letterwinners from last year's national championship squad are joined by 13 newcomers. That's something Mulkey didn't have when she arrived at Baylor 2 ½ years ago.

Track and Field

  • Baylor track and field athletes racked up six performances that qualify for the BU top-10 lists, including one school record mark, while competing Saturday at both the Tyson Invitational and the Iowa State Classic. From Baylor Bears dot com.

While inside the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., the Bears established four Baylor top-10 marks, including Taylor Bennett in the 200 meters (second), Cion Hicks in the shot put (third), Annie Rhodes in the pole vault (fifth) and the women's 4x400-meter relay (third).

While at the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreation Center, BU's 800-meter runners, Aaliyah Miller (school record) and Zak Curran (10th) added to the successful day

At the Iowa State Classic, Aaliyah Miller produced a school record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:02.89 to be second. The freshman Bear bettered the BU indoor record mark of Olicia Williams (2:03.21), which was set in 2015. Miller has now improved her personal-best time to 2:03.43 and then 2:02.89 in back-to-back 800-meter races. She was fifth through the first 200 meters (28.45) of the race, but ran 46.37 over the next 300 meters and closed with 48.08 over the final 300 meters to move up to the runner-up spot. Saturday's mark is No. 3 all-time on the American Junior Indoor performer list behind only Mary Decker (2:01.8), Ajee' Wilson (2:02.64).

Meanwhile at the Tyson Invitational, the Bears got a victory from Taylor Bennett in the 200-meter Olympic Development race. The sophomore came off the final curve and closed strong to notch a personal-best mark of 23.00. That mark is just .10 seconds off the school record of Tiffany Townsend (22.90), which was set in 2011 and .08 seconds better than Bennett's previous best, which she used to place second at last season's Big 12 Indoor Championship.

Cion Hicks got the rewriting of the record book started by winning the Tyson Invitational shot put with the third-best throw in school history at 56-11.25 [17.35m]. Hicks was just 1.50 inches away from her personal-best (57-0.75). Despite three fouls in her series of six throws, Hicks didn't have an attempt below 55-4.75 [16.88m], while achieving her best output on her third attempt.

All three of those marks by Miller, Bennett and Hicks will be inside the NCAA top-10 once results from around the country are gathered.

Annie Rhodes tied for fifth-best pole vault mark in school history by clearing 14-1.25 [4.30m]. That mark placed her sixth in the invitational pole vault competition.

In the final event of the day, the women's 4x400-meter relay of Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton and Leticia De Souza notched the third-fastest time in school history at 3:32.73 to finish second in the invitational section of the event. Bennett split 54.21, which left the Bears at the back of the pack at the first exchange, but Kiana Hawn (53.39) and Kiana Horton (53.37) pulled the Bears back to second. De Souza closed with a 51.77 to close the gap on the leader, but was unable to completely take the lead and held off a late charge from Arkansas to keep the Bears second.

Zak Curran turned in the final top-10 as he won his heat of the 800 meters at the Iowa State Classic in 1:48.75. The senior newcomer improved upon his season-opening race (1:50.47) by nearly two seconds to finish 11th in competition.

Besides Bennett and Hicks' victories, Rachel Toliver captured the collegiate section of the triple jump in Arkansas, winning with a season-best attempt of 41-5 [12.62m]. In the invitational section of the triple jump, Brianna Richardson carded a season-best mark on her final attempt, going 42-10.75 [13.07m] to be seventh.

Men’s Basketball

  • The Bears enforced their will and hammered the Horned Frogs 70-52 on Saturday at the Ferrell Center. A week after dropping its first home game of the season, sixth-ranked Baylor came out with a determined demeanor and put away upstart TCU from the outset. From Rueter’s.
  • ODB’s Kendall Kaut has more on the route.
  • After getting off to a disastrous start and falling behind by 19 in last week's 56-54 home-court loss to Kansas State, the No. 6/8 Baylor Bears were determined to not let that happen again. And it showed. Baylor Bear Fundation’s Jerry Hill has this story.

Women’s Tennis

  • The Baylor women's tennis team defeated Rice, 4-3, at Hurd Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon to remain perfect on the season, 5-0. For the second-straight dual match, freshman Angelina Shakhraichuk clinched the victory for the Lady Bears. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The undefeated Lady Bears dropped the doubles point, despite a strong 6-4 victory by No. 3 duoElizabeth Profit and Theresa Van Zyl over Savannah Durkin and Katherine Ip. No. 50-ranked pair Wendy Zhang and Lindsey Hodge outlasted Blair Shankle and Shakhraichuk, 6-2, who were paired together for the first time. Alison Ho and Priya Niezgoda edged Rhiann Newborn and Jessica Hinojosa, 7-6, to give their team an early, 1-0, advantage.

Unfazed by the Owls' quick first point, Baylor stormed back to win four consecutive singles matches and secure the team result, 4-3.

Shankle, who is ranked No. 9 nationally, defeated Zhang, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 1 spot to even the score, 1-1. Newborn continued to swing the momentum toward the Lady Bears, providing a 2-1 edge with a two-set victory over Hodge, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2 singles.

A pair of freshmen completed the comeback for Baylor. Hinojosa's 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Savannah Durkin at No. 6 singles brought her squad one result away from its fifth consecutive win, then Shakhraichuk came through in another pressure situation, besting Alison Ho in three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, to seal the victory for Baylor in the second-straight dual match.

"This was a big win today. Rice came out really strong and they jumped all over us in the doubles, but I'm really proud of my team. They hung in there, didn't panic and went back to work in singles. They gutted out a tough win." - Head Coach Joey Scrivano.

"Wins like these take a lot of mental toughness. I know our team is gaining a lot of confidence in that area; they're getting tougher each week. They're learning how to handle difficult situations. Most teams, when they lose the doubles point, panic and go away. We're getting stronger as the match progresses, so I'm proud of our team's effort." -Head Coach Joey Scrivano.

"We have to recover right now. We'll enjoy this win today, recover and get ready for Northwestern. That's going to be a tough match, it's our first road match, so we'll be preparing specifically for that." - Head Coach Joey Scrivano.

The Lady Bears travel to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern on Feb. 17, 2017. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m. (CT).

Lady Bears Basketball

  • OBF has the Game Preview and Thread Up here ready for this afternoon’s game against the Horned Frogs to start.
  • The game is at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, TX at 3:00 P.m. CT. The game will be on ESPN2 and and you can also listen on Baylor’s network.

Golf

For the first time since 2012, the 21st-ranked Lady Bears will not open the spring season in California, instead heading to the Lady Puerto Rico Classic that begins Sunday at par-72 Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

The three-day tournament features an NCAA regional-quality field with 11 top-50 teams, headed by fifth-ranked Georgia, No. 8 Furman and No. 9 Arkansas. Also in the 15-team tournament are host and 12th-ranked Purdue, No. 15 Kent State, No. 31 North Carolina State, 33rd-ranked Michigan, No. 34 TCU, No. 38 Texas Tech and No. 42 Augusta, along with Iowa State, Vanderbilt, Maryland and LSU.

"I think something that is going to be great for us is the fact that a lot of schools are really good, but a lot of them are northern, and they might not have had a chance to get on the grass and play a lot of golf like we have," Goble said. "So, I think it's going to be good that we're going to have an opportunity to start the year out there in good weather. We've had great weather here, and I believe we're ready to go."

After an intense seven rounds of qualifying, Baylor's lineup includes senior Maggie Beth Byers, junior transfer Amy Lee, sophomores Dylan Kim and Maria Vesga and freshman Fiona Liddell.

Softball

  • No. 21 Baylor softball (2-1) bounced back with two big wins, downing Cal State Northridge (0-2), 9-0, in five innings, and Northwestern (1-1), 7-6, in eight on Friday evening at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Starting the day facing Cal State Northridge (0-1), the Lady Bears rebounded from Friday's loss in a big way, crushing out 11 hits, with six runs in the second frame and three in the fourth.

Kyla Walker finished with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, driving in two runs. Senior infielders Lindsey Cargill and Ari Hawkins both drove in two runs, while starting pitcher Kelsee Selmanhelped her own cause by driving in a run and scoring one.

Shelby Friudenberg and Shelby McGlaun both drove in runs, while McGlaun picked up her first collegiate hit for the Lady Bears.

Selman (1-0) pitched a gem from the circle, tossing a complete game, two-hit shutout.

Defensively, BU posted a clean effort, committing zero errors on 15 putouts with seven assists.