What at excellent time to be a Baylor Bear! From a homework standpoint, taking the trip to San Antonio was a terrible idea, but oh, was it worth it. Then Baylor fans return to Waco and get to see the Lady Bears follow in the footsteps of the Men's team and advance! Sic Everything!
Battle of the Bears
Baylor Beats Cal 75-56, Advances to Sweet 16 - BaylorBears.com
The Lady Bears rode the leadership of seniors Sims and Davis as they dispatched the Golden Bears of California. The game was very close through the first half; as evidenced by the 34-33 halftime score.
Cal came out of the game running; they played ball at a speed Art Briles would approve of. Baylor had trouble defending Cal's penetration into the paint in the first half, but managed to keep pace with Cal's scoring, despite the length that the Golden Bears possessed. Pretty much every possession in the first half led to a lead change as the Bears battled tooth and nail, neither team wanting to give up the lead. The final lead change of the game came just before the half when Imani Wright drained a three to give Baylor the 34-33 lead.
In the second half, Odyssey Sims showed us what she could do. The senior finished with 27 points in the final game at the Ferrell Center, 3 of which came on a shot from Austin that sunk the dagger into Cal's comeback hopes.
Foul trouble was the name of the game last night. Both teams got into foul trouble early (Sims sat most of the first half), but great teams step up when their star is out, and that's just what Baylor did. Khadijiah "KK" Cave led the bench players by controlling the paint while starters Makenzie Robertson, Niya Johnson, and Nina Davis did what they are known for. Z's impact on a game has never really shown on the stat sheet, but she has probably taken more charges than any player I've ever seen. If there is someone driving the lane, you best bet that Z will be in her way. Johnson had herself a Chris Paul-esque game with 11 assists. Finally, freshman phenom Nina Davis had 13 points to go with 6 rebounds, including two outstanding hustle plays along the baseline to keep Baylor's play alive.
Watching Kim Mulkey hug her seniors at the end was something special, especially when Makenzie and her embraced. You can tell Mulkey and her players have a meaningful connection which is something you don't always see anymore in this world of one-and-dones. After the game, they took a victory lap.
Congratulations to California, y'all played Baylor tough. Afure Jemerigbe and Brittany Boyd are two very good players. In the end though, the superior team and coach were able to pull away and move on.
Baylor will get a rematch of the highest-scoring Division I women's game ever when they meet Kentucky in South Bend on Saturday. Tip is set for noon.
San Antonio Travels
The experience was like being in a whirlwind, nay, cyclone of noise and sheer joy. Those two games are honestly the most fun I have had at a basketball game. Are they the loudest I have cheered at a basketball game? No, that honor was earned by our Canadian assassin's season-saving three. Regardless of ranking and the like, what an unbelievable time!
We got to San Antonio a bit early, so I showed the gents this amazing restaurant called La Fogata. Top-notch Mexican food. But before that, we showed Conner's roommate, who is not from Texas, the Alamo. Unfortunately, we couldn't find parking so that we could get out and walk inside, but even just driving by it and getting to explain the legendary figures of Texas history: James Bowie, William Barret Travis, Davy Crockett, and the other 186 defenders, was magical.
Speaking of magic, Hilton Magic travels ridiculously well. I was very impressed by how many ISU fans showed up (apparently there is a large contingent of alumni in the DFW area). UNC fans showed up decently well, but ISU clearly held the advantage, especially towards the end when everybody but the UNC fans were on the ISU train. I've never gotten to cheer for another team in that way before; it is quite enjoyable. Fred Hoiberg did an outstanding job adjusting to the loss of Georges Niang and it is was great to see Big 12 fans join together the way they did.
Then Scott Drew showed us his game plan. If you looked up "Masterful", Google would return to you Hoiberg's and Drew's game plans. Personally, I think Drew's plan was the more impressive of the two, but it doesn't matter. Scott Drew and Baylor's zone utterly frustrated one of the top offenses in the country.
Cory Jefferson said he could see Creighton getting frustrated by Baylor's zone. They were arguing at each other and looked discombobulated— Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinBig12) March 25, 2014
During the first half, I could not hardly believe what I was witnessing. Baylor were simply eviscerating Creighton in every regard. If you had told me the score and nothing else, I would have thought it was a football game. Obviously, holding McDermott to all of 3 points in the first half was one of the best parts of that half, though I think my favorite part of the half (and the game) was seeing Creighton's guards dribble inside, look up, and see Austin or Gathers looming, and just go, "Nope nope nope!" Oh, and the Austin to Jefferson alley-oop.
The second half was a mere formality. Much like the football games of August and September, the game was over before half time. It was exciting to see Wainwright, Lowrey, and Heard get to play. Lowery's finger roll and Ish's dunk sent the crowd into a frenzy. Speaking of the crowd, it got TURNT UP in the AT&T. The "B-U"s were raining down like Baylor threes and reached deafening levels at the end. Way to go, Baylor Nation!
Other Baylor News
Just got Offered from Baylor— Kingsley (@BucketsAll_Day) March 25, 2014
That's George Ranch High School (Richmond, TX) DE Kingsley Keke. Wait a minute...he also plays basketball?! RICOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Men's Golf Tied for Third at Lone Star Invite - BaylorBears.com
The final round is today. Baylor sits 10 shots behind leader New Mexico, but only one shot behind second-place Purdue.
No. 29 Baseball Begins Four-Game Road Trip Tuesday vs. UT Arlington - BaylorBears.com
RHP Ryan Smith will lead the Bears against the 8-16 Mavericks. The game begins at 6:30 and will be broadcast live on ESPN 1660.
Baseball's Austin Stone Named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week - BaylorBears.com
This is the third week in a row that a Baylor pitcher has been named PotW. Baylor is the first-ever Big 12 school to earn the honor thrice in as many weeks.
No. 12 SB Debuts at 10 in NCAA RPI; Heads to SHSU for DH Tue - BaylorBears.com
The Lady Bears head down to Huntsville (Never go to the State Park there! Worst experience ever.) to take on the Bearkats of Sam Houston State in a double header. The first game begins at 4:00 with the second game following the conclusion of the first. Baylor also opened up as the No. 10 team in the NCAA's RPI rankings, despite the loss to Texas at the weekend.
Everyone is injured! Everyone is hurt who is part of the team! Everyone is injured! And it’s crushing our dreams!— Greg Tepper (@Tepper) March 24, 2014
Extras (Basically Texas pro sports section)
Uh, aggy... We need to talk about your pitiful basketball team.
FC Dallas are sitting at the top of the MLS standings with 7 points through three games. The Houston Dynamo are sitting pretty with 6 points from two games.