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Daily Bears Report 3/5/2017 - NFL Combine Today (or was that yesterday?)

MBB Clinches Big XII 3rd Seed; Lady Bears Advance to Big XII Semifinals; Baseball’s First Loss, Softball Continues Win Streak Against Top Ten Opponents. Golf still in fifth. Tennis wins. NFL Combine.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events (Other than the Combine)

Lady Bears Basketball

With a 95-63 quarterfinal win against No. 8 seed Texas Tech, the top-seeded Lady Bears advance to Big 12 Championship semifinals.

No. 2 ranked Baylor will face No. 24/rv and fourth-seeded Kansas State at 1:30 p.m. (CT) inside Chesapeake Energy Arena today in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Alexis Jones Still Out - Meanwhile: “Wally' Thriving in Lady Bears' Point Guard Role

“That’s it, when someone’s playing well and they’re on, you give them the ball,” said Wallace, who had a career-high 15 assists in a win over DePaul in November. “We called a couple plays for Prince (at OU), and she just shot the ball really well. She was easy to find, she was getting open.”

Prince said Wallace has “learned how to lead us, get us in position, get us where we need to go. She’s vocal out there, she gets everybody into plays. I think she’s going to do very well.”

“You just want your teammates to do well,” she said. “I don’t have a problem with sharing the ball at all. But, when it’s time to score, I’m happy to score as well. We’re just working well as a team. We’ve definitely got a lot of weapons on this team.”

Mulkey still lists Alexis Jones as day-to-day, but the first-team All-Big 12 guard will likely miss the Big 12 tournament and hopefully come back for the NCAA Tournament that starts March 17, with Baylor hosting the first two rounds at the Ferrell Center.

“You just focus on what we can do and take whatever comes our way,” Wallace said. “And once she gets better, she’ll just fit right back into the team. She’s such a key part of this team and just an incredible player.”

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  • Alexis Prince scored 22 points to help No. 2 Baylor coast to a 95-63 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Lady Bears (29-2) moved two wins from their seventh straight conference tournament title by dominating the glass, turning 21 offensive rebounds into 25 second-chance points. They face No. 24 Kansas State on Sunday.

Nina Davis had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Kalani Brown added 14 points and 10 boards for Baylor.

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The Lady Bears shot 53.9 percent (41 for 76) and were 6 of 11 from 3-point range.

The victory was Baylor's seventh straight and third in a row by more than 30 points.

The Lady Bears next face Kansas State, which topped Iowa State 74-67 earlier Saturday.

  • Today’s 1:30 p.m. semifinal game will air live on FS1 with Ron Thulin (play-by-play) and Brenda VanLengen (analyst) calling the action. Live audio is also available on the Baylor Sports Network, IMG College and ESPN 1660 AM in Waco, Texas. Rick May (play-by-play) and Lori Fogleman (analyst) are on the call.
  • Baylor’s players always appreciate looking into the crowd and seeing some flecks of green among the rainbow of T-shirt colors at the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament. Story by WacoTrib’s Brice Cherry.

For Baylor senior Alexis Prince, one fan shone a little brighter the rest.

Prince’s father Ashanti attended the Lady Bears’ 95-63 win over Texas Tech on Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. According to Prince, it was the first game her father had seen her play.

“He just works out in California, lives out there,” said Prince, who attended Edgewater High School in Orlando, Fla., before enrolling at Baylor in 2012. “My mom lives in Florida, so it’s a far distance. With work and stuff he can’t really get out.”

Perhaps motivated by her dad’s attendance, Prince played a great all-around game, with her fifth effort of 20-plus points of the season. She finished with 22 on 10-of-15 shooting, leading all scorers.

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Man Bears Basketball

Baylor basketball forward Johnathan Motley is among 15 student-athletes included on the 2017 National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Saturday. From Baylor Bears Dot com.

The National Ballot was selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board. The 15 student-athletes included are candidates for the Wooden Award All American Team and one will receive the Wooden Award Trophy presented to the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.

Fans may vote at www.woodenawardvote.com.

Motley is also one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, one of 19 players on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List and is one of 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Award. He has a chance to become Baylor’s first-ever AP first-team All-American.

Motley, a fourth-year junior from Houston, leads the Big 12 with 13 double-doubles and 10.0 rebounds per game, ranks third with 17.5 points per game, fifth with a .517 field goal percentage, 12th with a .729 free throw percentage and 12th with 1.1 blocks per game. He also has 71 assists in 30 games this season, more than the 53 assists he posted in 68 games over his first two seasons combined.

The 6-foot-10 forward’s numbers have improved in Big 12 play, where he leads the league with 10 double-doubles and 10.8 rebounds per game, and he ranks second in scoring with 18.4 points per game.

In his last 14 games, Motley is averaging 20.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 33.2 minutes per contest. He eclipsed the 20-point mark seven times in that stretch and has 10 games of 20+ points this season.

Motley currently ranks 21st on Baylor’s all-time scoring list with 1,164 career points and seventh in program history with 117 career blocks. He also has 124 assists and 616 rebounds, making him the first player in program history with 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 100 assists and 100 blocks.

No. 11 Baylor finished the regular season 25-6 overall and 12-6 in Big 12 play. The Bears’ 25 wins tied the 2012 season for most in a regular season in program history, and the 12 Big 12 wins tied the same season for most wins in conference play. Baylor also finished tied for second in the Big 12 standings, equaling the 2010 season for best finish in the league’s 21-year history.

Baylor earned the No. 3 seed in the 2017 Big 12 Championship and will face No. 6 seed Kansas State in the quarterfinals. That game will tip off at 8 p.m. CT Thursday and air on ESPNU.

Baseball

  • Baylor finishes the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park today at 5:05 p.m. CT vs. No. 11 Texas A&M.
  • Trying to keep a winning streak alive when Jared Poche is acting as an impediment isn’t easy. LSU’s ace shut down the Baylor offense to heave the No. 4 Tigers to a 4-0 win over the Bears on the second day of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Houston College Classic on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. Story from BearsExtra.

The loss was the first of the year for Baylor (10-1), which owns the second-best start to a season in program history behind only the 1984 Bears, who went 13-0 before losing.

Poche dealt some nasty, nearly unhittable stuff in muzzling Baylor’s bats. The big left-hander mixed speeds effectively, limiting the Bears to just three hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking none.

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Watch as LSU’s shortstorp Kramer Robertson makes a superhero catch vs. Baylor. Kramer is the son of Baylor’s Lady Bear Superhero Basketball Head Coach Kim Mulkey.

"I thought our guys competed well. [Jared Poche'] just did a really good job of mixing up his four pitches throughout the day. We just could not get that two-out hit and they did. That's a game-changer. LSU is a really good team. I'm proud of how our guys played and reacted to this game." -- Head Coach Steve Rodriguez.

Softball

Baylor softball (17-3) continued on its hot streak, upsetting No. 7 Washington (15-3), 3-1, on the second day of competition in the Judi Garman Classic at Anderson Family Field. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The win for Baylor is the third-straight win over a top-20 opponent, sweeping yesterday’s games with No. 20 Arizona State and No. 14 Michigan.

The Lady Bears also extended an 11-game winning streak, the highest in the Big 12 this season.

Kelsee Selman (9-2) worked another complete game winning effort, slinging all 7.0 frames. The senior allowed just five hits and one run, adding five strikeouts.

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The Lady Bears close its play in the 2017 Judi Garman Classic on Sunday, March 5, facing No. 8/7 UCLA at 2 p.m. PT and Cal State Fullerton at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Tennis

The No. 13 Baylor women's tennis team stormed back to defeat No. 21 UCLA on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. The Lady Bears (10-2) notched a 4-3 victory over the Bruins (6-4) tying the all-time series, 6-6.

With the win Baylor is 9-0 at home and 2-2 against ranked opponents.

The Lady Bears are back on the road at Tulsa on Monday, March 6. First serve is set for 5 p.m. Follow the official Twitter and Instagram accounts of the team: @BaylorWTennis for an inside look with results, photos and stories.

Golf

Baylor women’s golf is tied for fifth place at 19-over-par 587 after two rounds at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club. From Baylor Bears dot com.

BU shot 12-over 296 in Saturday’s second round and sits 14 strokes back of the lead entering the final round.

Baylor is led by junior Amy Lee, who shot a team-best 1-over 72 on Saturday and is tied for sixth place in the 90-player field at 1-over 143 for the tournament.

All four teams in front of No. 19 Baylor (+19) are ranked higher in the latest GolfStat rankings. BU trails No. 18 Duke (+5), No. 5 Alabama (+5), No. 10 Arizona State (+8) and No. 14 South Carolina (+12). The Lady Bears are tied with No. 8 Georgia (+19) and ahead of No. 6 Furman (+24), No. 32 Tennessee (+26), No. 34 North Carolina (+28), Vanderbilt (+28), No. 16 Oklahoma State (+30), No. 12 Arkansas (+31), No. 40 Auburn (+32), No. 11 Wake Forest (+33), LSU (+37), Mississippi State (+48) and Virginia (+58).

Maggie Beth Byers has made nine birdies over 36 holes at Long Cove Club, tied for second-most in the 90-player field. She made five birdies in the first round (Nos. 5, 7, 9, 13 and 15) and four birdies in the second round (Nos. 6, 7, 14 and 15).

“We hung in there today when the weather was much more difficult than yesterday,” head coach Jay Goble said. “I’m proud of this team and the way they are dealing with adversity this week. We’re just going to continue to hit one shot at a time for the remainder of this event and trust in our teammates and ourselves.”

Sunday’s final round begins at 7 a.m. CT with tee times from the first and 10th holes. Baylor players will begin on the first tee in pairings with golfers from South Carolina and Georgia. Liddell is up first at 7:45 a.m., and she’ll be followed in nine-minute intervals by Vesga, Byers, Kim and Lee, respectively. Live scoring is available at www.GolfStat.com. Follow @BaylorWGolf for updates throughout the season.

Famous OBF Quote

“I’ve been blocked by Baylor Lady Bears Basketball Twitter. I know they are the NCAA leading shot blockers but, really, tweet blockers too? This is an amazing basketball team.”

Triple Doubles & Doubles Times Ten

Lady Bears Thousand Point Club

Football

Three Baylor football players have been invited to work out for coaches and front office personnel at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 28-March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the NFL announced Wednesday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The three Bears are wide receiver KD Cannon, center Kyle Fuller and quarterback Seth Russell. The players' invitations give Baylor multiple players attending the combine for a ninth consecutive season.

The combine is a chance for executives, coaches, player personnel staff and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams to evaluate the nation's top collegiate football players eligible for the upcoming draft. The six-day job interview involves a series of tests, drills and meetings with more than 600 NFL personnel.

The group of three invitees includes two seniors and one junior, which helped Baylor to 28 wins over the last three years with one Big 12 championship and three bowl appearances, including two bowl wins. The three offensive players helped the Bears lead the nation in total offense and scoring in 2014 and 2015, while ranking sixth in total offense last season.

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Seth Russell Isn't Giving Up On His NFL Dream - Our Daily Bears, View the FanShot posted by BaldBear on SB Nation’s Our Daily Bears.