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Daily Bears Report 3/19/2017 - Matt Rhule’s First Practice Is In The Books.

Lady Bears basketball makes history, again. MBB to face USC. Much more Baylor sports.

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl - Baylor v Boise State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today’s Events

Men’s Basketball

Both Baylor coach Scott Drew and USC coach Andy Enfield see a lot of similarities in the seasons of the two teams. WacoTrib’s John Werner has this story at BearsExtra.

The Bears won their first 15 games and reached No. 1 for the first time in school history before losing to West Virginia. The Trojans won their first 14 games before losing to Oregon.

“They’re a lot like us,” Enfield said. “They started out the year undefeated and they had some injuries like we did, and then they finished strong. I think it’s two very good basketball teams that have similar strengths, and I think it’s going to come down to who can execute what they do better.”

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Lady Bears Basketball

It also helped that the Lady Bears, with three post players at least 6-foot-4, were much bigger than NCAA first-timer Texas Southern.

Beatrice Mompremier had 22 points with 11 rebounds, Kalani Brown scored 21 points and freshman post Lauren Cox had 17 as the Lady Bears defeated Texas Southern 119-30 on Saturday night in the most lopsided women's NCAA Tournament game ever. Baylor's 119 points were the most ever in regulation of a tournament game.

"That work we've put in since the tournament championship game, I think you saw it today," said Mulkey, whose team lost in the Big 12 championship for the first time in seven years.

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The Bears' 119 points were also the most in regulation during an NCAA women's tournament game.

Baylor shattered the record for victory margin set by Tennessee in 1994. The Lady Vols defeated North Carolina A&T by 74 points, 111-37.

Softball

  • No. 14/15 Baylor softball (25-4) took its first series win of the 2017 season, working a 5-0 shutout over UCF (14-12) on Saturday afternoon at UCF Softball Complex. From Baylor Bears Dot com.

Gia Rodoni (8-0) went the distance for the Lady Bears in the circle, working a complete game, 7.0 inning shutout, allowing just three hits with seven strikeouts.

The Baylor offense kept the bats hot, striking first in the top of the second.

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Golf

Baylor’s No. 4-ranked men’s golf team is headed to Greensboro, Ga., to compete in the Linger Longer Invitational, which runs Sunday through Tuesday at Great Waters Golf Course. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Bears are No. 4 in the latest GolfStat rankings, which is the best ranking in program history. The 12th-annual event features a 15-team field with Alabama, Augusta, No. 4 Baylor, Charlotte, No. 20 Georgia, No. 43 Kennesaw State, Maryland, Mercer, No. 37 Michigan, No. 45 Middle Tennessee, Ohio State, Troy, No. 8 Virginia, VCU and UNC Greensboro.

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Tennis

In the second match of the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge Presented by Oracle, the sixth-ranked Baylor men’s tennis produced a 4-0 victory over No. 13 California Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Bears avenged their 4-2 defeat to the Golden Bears that took place on Feb. 17 at the ITA National Team Indoor Tennis Championships.

“I think the last match was one we were heartbroken about. Max was getting close to finishing and we thought we had a really good chance to win but they did a better job closing out the matches, so we were really excited to get another chance to play them because we have a lot of respect for them and how good they are. We were really excited to see how we’d come out and the guys had a great mindset going into the match. We felt we’d have to be at our very best to do well, and we came out and really competed well today.” – Baylor Head Coack Matt Knoll on early season defeat to Cal.

“It’s always great to be in a final, it’s always a great experience. We’re really excited about it. If we’re going to play, it’s fun to win. To have a chance to win this really prestigious college event is a big deal and we really appreciate the opportunity. Hopefully we come out and play well and build on what we’ve done so far.” – Knoll on playing in final tomorrow.

Track and Field

Baylor's men's track and field team produced three event wins Saturday at the TCU Invitational at Lowdon Track and Field Stadium. From Baylor Bears dot com.

After not competing during the indoor season, Matt League made his 2017 debut by capturing the 1,500-meter crown in 3:56.81.

Baylor swept the hurdle races on the men's side as Rhys Phillips opened his outdoor season by winning the 110-meter hurdle crown in 14.10 and Antwuan Musgrove produced a win in the hurdles at the 400-meter distance in 51.83. Musgrove's mark was a personal-best, after running a season-best of 52.83 in 2016 during his freshman campaign.

Baylor had five runner-up finishes on the day, including Victoria Powell (400m), the men's 4x400 relay of Niko Harrell, Wil London, Musgrove and Brandon Moore, Blaine Listach (high jump), Megan SaxvanderWeyden (javelin) and Chase Hood (javelin).

SaxvanderWeyden's javelin toss was the second-longest in school history at 149-10 [45.66m]. It was just over two feet off the 1995 Baylor record of Tammy Wilkerson (151-11).

Baylor will now head south to San Antonio for the Roadrunners Invitational, which is hosted by UT San Antonio March 23-25.

Baseball

No. 10/20 Baylor baseball lost a 6-5 game to West Virginia on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Bears (15-4, 0-2) erased a three-run deficit late but the Mountaineers (10-7, 2-0) had an answer to take the series.

Similar to Friday night's loss, WVU jumped on top of BU early with three runs in the second inning. The Bears answered with two runs with help from an error and RBI single by Josh Bissonette in the fourth.

Football

First-year head coach Matt Rhule said he loves practice. "It's the single-most important thing we do, football-wise."

"It's where you learn how to compete," Rhule said Saturday morning. "People say, `Do your job.' You have to learn how to do your job. So, you have to do it under stress. Practice is where we learn how to do our job under stress. Those techniques, those details we teach them in the meetings, we perfect them on the practice field. I love the process."

Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Nixon says spring football is a good evaluation time to "see what our players can do."

"We think we have a lot of talent here at Baylor University on the offensive side of the ball," Nixon said. "There's going to be a lot of competition at every position -- offensive line, wide receivers, running backs, tight ends. So, it's just going to be good to get them out there, evaluate them, have them compete. Everyone's jockeying for a starting position or backup position. And like I said, it's just going to be great to finally get them out there and see what they can do."

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Matt Rhule isn’t necessarily anti-progress. The first-year Baylor head coach isn’t afraid to try some cutting-edge technologies. It’s just that Baylor’s new staff has a certain way of going about things, likely different in a lot of ways than what players experienced before.

Changes may come in subtle ways at times, more drastic at others. But the players face an ongoing education throughout the spring.

“For us, it’s probably not X’s and O’s, it’s just the way we coach it,” said Rhule, prior to Baylor’s initial spring workout Saturday. “I’m not saying it’s different or better than anybody else. But we kind of have our way. Usually it kind of takes players a while to figure out our way. But these kids are doing a nice job. They’ve worked really, really hard at it.”

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