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Lady Bears tame Tigers, win 97-81

Feb. 20, 2001

Women back in national rankings at No. 24 position

MARK ALLAN PETERSON

Sports writer

The Baylor Lady Bears are finally back.

After spending two weeks out of the top 25, the Baylor women's basketball team returned to No. 24 in the AP poll following a 97-81 win over the University of Missouri Saturday at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

A crowd of 6,158 was on hand, the second largest crowd to see a Baylor women's game at home this year.

'Coach [Mulkey] told us we really need to play good,' guard Nicole Collins said. 'Every win is important for us to achieve our goal to go to the tournament.'

Forward Danielle Crockrom and guard Sheila Lambert combined for 66 points in the win. Crockrom also added 11 rebounds and three steals for the Lady Bears.

Baylor took control early, going up 48-27 at intermission, their largest lead of the half.

Sheila Lambert went 9 for 12 from the field while the Lady Bears held Missouri's top scorer, Amanda Lassiter, to only five points on 2 for 9 shooting. She finished the game with 15.

'That was a freshman out there trying to guard a Big 12-all conference player,' head Coach Kim Mulkey said of guard Chanelle Fox. 'To hold Lassiter to 15 points, and ask a freshman to do that is, helping us to become a better basketball team.'

The Lady Bears held a steady lead throughout the first part of the second half until Marlena Williams and Karensa Barr led an inspired comeback for the Tigers.

Williams owned the second half, scoring 14 of Missouri's last 24 points of the game.

Barr, who was scoreless in the first half, finished the game with 15, including a crucial jumper with 5:49 left to play. That cut the Baylor lead down to seven at 77-70 in the middle of a 19-5 Missouri run.

However, a Missouri comeback was cut short after Crockrom answered going 4-for-4 from the foul line and then nailing a jumper, giving Baylor a 10-point lead with 3:42 left.

The Baylor defense then stepped in, holding Missouri to only four more points, including a steal by Collins with 1:49 left, icing the third straight win for the Lady Bears.

'This is a big win for us and I think our team prepared very well for this game and worked hard in practice and you could see the result,' Crockrom said.

Baylor is now tied for fifth place with Missouri and the University of Texas in the Big 12 standings, improving to 18-6 overall and 7-6 in conference play.

Baylor's next game is Wednesday against the No. 8-ranked University of Oklahoma (21-4 overall, 12-1 in the Big 12) in Norman. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

Crockrom said although the win was big, they are now looking forward to playing OU.

'We're gonna have to come back here and work hard because that's definitely going to be a challenge to beat them at home,' she said.