Lady Bears fall in Elite 8 game for fourth straight year

Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

By Jordan Smith | Sports Editor

For the fourth consecutive year, the No. 1-seed Baylor Lady Bears were eliminated in the Elite Eight round of the Women’s March Madness tournament. This year, it came at the hands of No. 2-seed Mississippi State on Sunday night in overtime with a final score of 94-85.

The Lady Bears were led by sophomore post Kalani Brown, who in the game scored 27 points, along with recording five blocks and nine rebounds.

Brown said that with all of the hard work displayed in the game and over the years, she felt apologetic that she couldn’t get her team to the “Promise Land.”

“It’s a disappointment. Just sorry I couldn’t get them there,” Brown said.

The Lady Bears only outscored Mississippi State in one quarter the entire game, which was the third quarter won the scoring battle 21-17.

At halftime, Baylor was down by a score of 43-40. It was the first time in the entire tournament that the Lady Bears were losing at halftime.

Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer opened their press conference and complimented Baylor on their performance.

“I’m honored and humbled to be here,” Schaefer said. “So proud of my girls and our team. What a tremendous effort today against a heck of a basketball team in Baylor University. Kim and her team are absolutely phenomenal. It took a gut-check, gut-wrenching performance by our kids today, and we delivered.”

One of the key players for Mississippi State was guard Morgan William, who in the game scored 41 points with seven assists and three rebounds and led the bulldogs to the victory.

Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey said there was nothing she could say to junior guard Kristy Wallace after a game like this.

“She’s crying. She’s upset. I just went in the locker room and apologized to the four seniors that I couldn’t as their coach get them to a Final Four,” Mulkey said. “I thanked them for four wonderful years of Elite 8 basketball. Many players and schools across the country would trade places with them in a heartbeat.”

Wallace fouled out of the game with 50.0 seconds left to go in the overtime period. Wallace ended the night with nine points, four rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes of play.

The final buzzer sounded and the Lady Bears were on the losing end, taking the defeat by a final score of 94-85.

Senior guard Nina Davis put on a good performance despite the loss. In her fourth career Elite Eight game, Davis scored 18 points, grabbed three rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes of play.

Mulkey restated the high expectations the Lady Bears have set for themselves.

“At Baylor, we have expectations that are higher than an Elite Eight, whether that’s egotistical, fair, it is what it is,” Mulkey said. “We have to keep feeding that monster we started 17 years ago. You don’t really say anything to anybody else. You say the Lord’s Prayer and come to the press conference.”

The Lady Bears end their season with a record of 33-4.

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