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Lady Bears fall to No. 8 Oklahoma

Feb. 22, 2001

Women wind up empty handed in final minutes

By MARK ALLAN PETERSON

Sports writer

With a three-game winning streak on the line, the Baylor women's basketball team was forced to face perhaps their toughest opponent of the year.

The No. 8-ranked University of Oklahoma came into Wednesday night's contest riding a 12-game winning streak and leading the Big 12 standings with only one conference loss.

The Lady Sooners proved to be worthy of the hype.

Oklahoma survived a second half scare by the Lady Bears, who were looking to knock off their second top 10 opponent of the year, but were unable to finish the job in an 86-76 loss.

'This ended up being a 10 point ball game but it was a closer game than that,' head Coach Kim Mulkey said.

Baylor falls to 18-7 on the year and 7-7 in Big 12 Conference play.

Oklahoma (22-4, 13-1) dominated the first half, breaking out to a 22-10 lead following a three-pointer by reserve Rosalind Ross.

Although quiet toward the beginning of the game, Oklahoma's leading scorer LaNeishea Caufield lit up for the Sooners, hitting three three-pointers on Oklahoma's last five possessions of the half. Her last-second shot gave Oklahoma a 51-35 lead at intermission.

'The first half was a case of [Oklahoma] playing more physical and more tough. We didn't respond,' Mulkey said.

Danielle Crockrom charged up the Lady Bears in a second half comeback, scoring eight points on a 20-7 run to start the half.

Crockrom later hit a jumper with less than 13 minutes to play, giving Baylor its first lead of the game at 62-60.

Baylor continued to gain momentum, answering all of Oklahoma's runs as each team continued to trade baskets. Baylor went up 76-75 with more than five minutes left on a Monica Arnold free throw. Then the Sooner defense stepped in.

Oklahoma held Baylor scoreless in the last four and a half minutes, ending the game on an 11-0 run.

'It's a hard loss. I think we just got tired out there,' guard Chanelle Fox said. 'We know we were a better team than we played in the first half.'

Crockrom finished the game with 18 points and six rebounds, although she was held to only four points in the first half.

'If we're going to go very far, she's got to get more touches than she did,' Mulkey said.

Sheila Lambert led all scorers with 23 points.