By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
The Lady Bears took a nine-day Italy tour from August 5-13 where they played three exhibition games against European teams and ended the trip with some sightseeing. Overall, the Lady Bears were able to test their talent and see how the team held together as a whole while experiencing a different style of play.
Throughout the first six days, the Lady Bears played Bosnia and Herzegovina, TK Hannover (Germany) and ended with a game against the Muggia Select Slammers. The team got off to a hot start shooting 54.1 percent on field goals and 55.6 percent from the three-point line as a team, handing Bosnia and Herzegovina ain Rome.
Moving on to Ponte Buggianese, Italy, the Lady Bears took on a talented TK Hannover team, where the guards came out into the spotlight. Sophomores, and fifth-year senior combined for 39 of the 77 points scored. While the team took home the win , it was not a perfect performance, but head coach Kim Mulkey knows that’s not something to expect this early and against a challenging team at that.
“It was a very physical game. We knew that they were a very good team. They just played Kentucky and beat Kentucky by about 18 the other night,” Mulkey said. “I thought our kids matched their physical play. I thought we saw production from a lot of new faces, and we’re definitely out of shape, but we’re not supposed to be in shape in the middle of August. But, it is a win nonetheless and we’re having a blast in Italy.”
Ursin went 5-9 from the floor and 3-3 from the line, racking up 13 points in the victory. She thanked her teammates for their support and praised the chemistry the Lady Bears had during the trip.
“It felt great just to be able to have my team behind back encouraging me, especially after last year. I still have a lot of things to work on, but today was great for me,” Ursin said. “It was a relief, basically, so I had fun today and I’m excited.”
To end the trip, the Lady Bears went to Trieste, Italy, where they won by a dominating score ofover the Slammers. Scoring 52 in each half, the Lady Bears attempted 84 field goals and 19 three-pointers. Leading the team in scoring were senior center and junior guard with 22 and 21 points, respectively. The game had six Lady Bears score in double-digits, and the team totaled 11 blocks.
Brown, like Ursin, spoke about how important the team’s interaction with each other is and what these few games mean going into the rest of the season.
“It was great,” Brown said. “I feel really great about this year. We got to work on things that we need to work on, and team chemistry is most important, and I feel like we all get along and we’re all together on this, so I feel really good about this year.”
Ursin said it was a great chance for the Lady Bears to play these exhibition games and to also tour Italy on the trip.
“It’s amazing … We’re extremely grateful,” Ursin said. “I am personally thanking Coach Mulkey and the staff and Baylor University for this opportunity. It’s been fun and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to be a part of it.”
The Lady Bears have a break before resuming practice in September to prepare for their first game against the Langston Lions on Oct. 26 at the Ferrell Center.