Lady Bears win Gulf Coast Showcase

The Lady Bears pose together on Sunday after winning the Gulf Coast Showcase 85-68 over the eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The Lady Bears will be in action at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ferrell Center as they take on Abilene Christian University. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

The Lady Bears took home the Gulf Coast Showcase with an 85-68 victory over the eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.

“Hey, they’ve got a really good basketball team. Credit to them,” said Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff after the game. “We didn’t have our best day in large part due to them. I thought we played hard, but we just didn’t execute well enough.”

The Lady Bears led the game from start to finish and used a big second quarter, where they outscored the Buckeyes 19-10, to build a 13-point advantage heading into intermission.

The Buckeyes remained competitive throughout the second half but could never manage a big run to get it back within striking distance.

A major factor in that department was the Lady Bears’ defense on the Buckeyes’ junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, who finished with 17 points to lead Ohio State in scoring, but she was held to just five of 20 shooting from the field before eventually fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Baylor continues to be a nightmare for opposing teams on the glass. The Lady Bears held a distinct 52-29 advantage and an 18-9 advantage on the offensive side.

Senior guard Alexis Jones got help on the offensive end from junior guard Kristy Wallace and sophomore post Beatrice Mompremier, who contributed 15 and 13 points respectively for the Lady Bears. Sophomore post Kalanai Brown and senior forward Nina Davis also finished in double figures.

One blemish for the Lady Bears came from the free throw line, where they shot 19-32 for 59 percent.

Baylor defeated Kent State 84-42 in the quarterfinal on Friday and 18th-ranked DePaul 104-72 in the semi-final to earn its spot against Ohio State in the championship.

Wallace, who scored 15 points against the Buckeyes on Sunday, contributed just 10 points in Baylor’s first two wins of the tournament but whose defense was pivotal, was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

“Kristy had a phenomenal tournament and very deserving of the award and all of that,” said head coach Kim Mulkey. “But we can’t do it alone. Our team defense was very good in this tournament.”

Baylor improves to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 against teams ranked in the top 25, according to the Associated Press and Coaches. Ohio State drops to 5-2, 1-2 against teams ranked in the top 25.

The Lady Bears return to action at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ferrell Center, as they host Abilene Christian University.