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Lady Bears to face Tech

Feb. 7, 2001

Game pivotal in clinching team place standing

By ROB SINCLAIR

Sports writer

After a two-game, two-loss road trip, the Baylor women's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Ferrell Special Events Center tonight to host the No. 10-ranked Texas Tech University Lady Raiders. Tip-off is set for 7.

Baylor stands in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Big 12 Conference standings with a record of 15-5 overall and 4-5 in the conference. Tech (17-3 overall, 8-1 in the Big 12) is in a three-way tie for first.

The Lady Bears have dropped their last two games, a 69-66 overtime loss at Oklahoma State University, and an 85-66 decision to the University of Colorado in Boulder.

'It's always tough to play on the road,' center Brooke McCormack said. 'But in both games we beat ourselves.'

The Baylor offense has been bottled up recently, but has the capability of lighting up the scoreboard on any given night.

Guard Sheila Lambert leads the team with a 22.9 point per-game average, just in front of forward Danielle Crockrom's 22.6 average. Center Monica Arnold throws in 10.6 points from the low post.

Texas Tech brings balanced scoring to its end of the court, with guards Jia Perkins, Katrisa O'Neal and Amber Tarr, and forward Plenette Pierson all scoring in double-digits. Pierson is the leading rebounder while Tarr is the primary outside shooter, connecting at a 48.1 percent clip on her three-point attempts.

'Well, good teams are balanced,' Baylor head Coach Kim Mulkey said. 'We don't have that consistency yet, but we hope to get that as we grow and mature. To win you need balance.'

Earlier this season, the Lady Raiders handed Baylor its first loss of the season, 84-61 in Lubbock.

'They just played harder than we did,' McCormack said, 'and they had 10 or 15,000 people cheering them on.'

Unfortunately for Baylor, the result has been the rule rather than the exception for the past 17-plus years. Baylor's last win in the series came on March 11, 1983, a span of 38 games in the series. Back in 1983, Mulkey was in her junior year at Louisiana Tech University, Texas Tech head Coach Marsha Sharp was in her first season with the school and McCormack was in kindergarten.

In the end, however, McCormack knows this game will come down to Baylor making shots and playing defense.

'They have a lot of different sets offensively and they're very athletic,' she said. 'We have to focus and shut them down on defense.'

from TECH page 4