It’s been bandied about by the media, opposing coaches and by Coach Kim Mulkey that this season’s Baylor Lady Bears are Coach Mulkey’s best team to date.
Emphasis on “team.”
Baylor had eleven different players play 3 minutes or more, and each one of those players put points on the board as the Lady Bears rolled over the California Golden Bears 86-46. Of Baylor’s 34 made field goals, 28 of those came from an assist.
“I think we played a good team game on offense,” Baylor’s Kristy Wallace said. “We didn’t settle for just regular shots. We kind of looked to find some good shots. We made them, so that was really great.”
Nine different Lady Bears divided up the 47 rebounds. Seven different Lady Bears contributed to the 13 steals.
- When Baylor’s 6-foot-7 all-conference post Kalani Brown picked up two quick fouls within the game’s first 70 seconds, Cal seemed to catch a break. This Brice Cherry story from SFGate dot com.
It seemed like an opening for the underdog.
After all, Brown entered the game as Baylor’s leading scorer on the season, averaging better than 15 points per game.
But Baylor’s depth comes in waves.
The top-seeded Baylor Lady Bears didn’t really miss Brown, who sat for the rest of the first half. Baylor seniors Nina Davis and Alexis Prince made strong contributions and Baylor rolled to an 86-46 win over ninth-seeded Cal in the NCAA’s second round Monday night at Baylor’s Ferrell Center.
- Kalani Brown — who picked up two fouls not even two minutes into the game — watched from the bench as California kept hanging around. This story by WacoTrib’s Krista Pirtle from BearsExtra.
But in an instant Baylor took over, and the Golden Bears were left in the dust.
The Lady Bears’ nation-leading defense locked down even more with efficient help-side rotations, and the offense kept things rolling as the extra pass led to buckets.
Baylor couldn’t be stopped – on either end of the floor – as the Lady Bears topped Cal 86-46 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the ninth-straight season Monday night inside the Ferrell Center.
“They have a darned good team,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “I know they have to go to Oklahoma City first, but I think they have a great chance to be playing down the road here in Dallas.”
- If you play in the NCAA tournament often enough, games and opponent can’t help but get recycled. This story by WacoTrib’s Brice Cherry from BearsExtra.
So if Baylor-Louisville in Oklahoma City seems familiar, it should. That’s not only the matchup for the top-seeded Lady Bears in the Sweet 16 following their 86-46 victory over ninth-seeded California on Monday night at the Ferrell Center.
That was also the pairing – and the same site – back in 2013, when the then-fifth-seeded Cardinals stunned top-seeded and defending national champion Baylor, 82-81.
- There's pressure, and then there's what's up next for the Baylor women's basketball team after qualifying for a ninth straight Sweet 16 by routing Cal, 86-46, on Monday at the Ferrell Center. 247Sports has this story by Tony Adame.
That's because for this group of Lady Bears the standard was set when they lost to Oregon State in the Elite Eight last year - their third straight loss in a regional final.
And that means it's Dallas, the site of this year's Final Four, or bust. It's something the Lady Bears have embraced from the beginning of the season.
And in their way, once again, is Baylor's Sweet 16 bugaboo, Louisville, a team that has beaten Baylor (32-3) twice in the Sweet 16 in the last decade - in 2009 and in 2013 when the Lady Bears were defending NCAA champions and the favorite to win another title with All-Americans Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims.
- College Sports: Another Sweet 16! Baylor women secure 9th straight Sweet 16 berth after 86-46 blowout vs. Cal | SportsDay, WACO, Texas -- Nina Davis and the Baylor women are headed back to the Sweet 16, and a very familiar spot. Davis and Alexis Prince both scored 16...
- Baylor women 9th straight Sweet 16 after 86-46 win over Cal, Nina Davis and the Baylor women are headed back to the Sweet 16, and a very familiar spot.
A Fine Farewell from the Ferrell
Nina Davis and Alexis Prince talk about Baylor's big win and Sweet 16 https://t.co/0Oswf95N5M— Ohio Baylor Fan (@OhioBaylorFan) March 21, 2017
Baylor senior forward Nina Davis called her last game at the Ferrell Center a "bittersweet thing." Story by Baylor Bear Foundation’s Jerry Hill (complete with game highlights) from Baylor Bears dot com.
But, it was far more sweet than bitter for the top-seeded Baylor Lady Bears (32-3), who made it through to the Sweet 16 for the ninth consecutive year with a convincing 86-46 blowout of ninth-seeded Cal Monday night before a Ferrell Center crowd of 3,910.
Davis and fellow seniors Alexis Prince, Khadijah Cave and Alexis Jones took their final curtain call with 3:28 left in the game, getting a rousing ovation from their home-court fans when they subbed out with Baylor leading 82-41.
"It was an amazing moment, just to see that this is our last home game here, to get the acknowledgement from the fans and to thank the fans and the coaches for everything they've given us," Cave said. "It was just an incredible experience, and we're all excited to have that little moment."
The two seniors in the starting lineup, Davis and Prince, shared team-high scoring honors with 16 points apiece and also combined for 11 rebounds, 11 assists and four steals in the Lady Bears' second straight blowout victory. Baylor opened the tournament with a 119-30 victory over Texas Southern that ranks as the most lopsided game in the 36-year history of the NCAA Tournament.