Lady Bears struggle but win No. 17 in a row

Former Baylor Lady Bears guard Odyssey Sims goes up for a baseline shot against West Virginia on March 2 in Waco. The Lady Bears lost the game by a final of 71-69. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

By Jordan Smith | Sports Editor

The No. 2-ranked Baylor Lady Bears had to put up a fight against the No. 24 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers to win their 17th game in a row.

In the first half, the Lady Bears struggled to find any sort of dominance, only leading by a score of 25-24 after the end of the first quarter. Lady Bears redshirt senior guard Alexis Jones led the team with eight points on three assists and two rebounds as well.

The second quarter was similar to the first as Baylor won the scoring differential in the quarter, but only by a margin of 15-10. In that quarter, redshirt senior guard Alexis Prince scored two points with two assists and four rebounds.

At halftime, Baylor kept the lead by a score of 40-34, but still found it hard to dominate over West Virginia.

Baylor Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey said the difference in this game and the previous match-up in Morgantown earlier this season came down to one thing.

“I thought their defense and their effort was outstanding. I say this in the most complimentary of ways, and I said it to him when I shook his hand, ‘Mike, if your kids played like that every night, you wouldn’t have five losses,'” Mulkey said. “I’ve always said that about his team. They have length on the perimeter; they have a ball handler that runs the show; they’ve got size inside; they’ve got athleticism. They guarded us.”

In the third quarter, Baylor started to dominate the Mountaineers by winning the quarter scoring differential 23-18, extending the total score to 63-52 after three quarters.

Senior forward Nina Davis stepped up in the second half, especially in the third quarter. In the third quarter, Davis accumulated three rebounds and seven points to add to the one steal she got in the third quarter as well.

Davis knew someone needed to be a spark plug for this team if they wanted to get the win.

“The game was pretty close throughout, and we just needed someone. We were struggling a little bit. They were getting easy points in transition, getting rebounds. So I just wanted to step up and give us a spark and help us get this win,” Davis said.

Redshirt senior guard Alexis Jones realized that West Virginia gave her trouble with something they like to call the “dribble-drive”.

“It was difficult that it was going right past me, something that I might have to go back and just take care of and learn how to stop the penetration without fouling,” Jones said.

When the final buzzer sounded, Baylor was victorious against the No. 24 West Virginia Mountaineers by a final score of 79-73, the closest margin of victory at home this season. Alexis Jones was the player of the game as she finished with a statline of 16 points, four assists, one steal and four rebounds.

Sophomore post player Beatrice Mompremier suffered a right ankle injury during the game. Coach Mulkey addressed the injury in the post game press conference.

“Sprained ankle. She rolled it, and they’ve got her in a boot, taking her to get an MRI and an X-ray to make sure that it’s just a sprained ankle,” Mulkey said.

The Lady Bears look to keep their undefeated Big 12 record alive as they take on Kansas State University at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25 in Manhattan, Kan.