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Lady Bears celebrate wins over ranked foes

Jan. 30, 2001

After defeat of top-10 Iowa State, women beat Lady Longhorns

By ROB SINCLAIR

Sport writer

The Baylor women's basketball team is riding high after arguably the best week in the program's history. After pulling the upset of then No. 7-ranked Iowa State University 79-74 on Wednesday, the Lady Bears led from start to finish in blowing out the then No. 17-ranked University of Texas 73-51 Saturday evening.

Baylor improved to 15-3 overall and 4-3 in the Big 12 Conference after the win over UT, and also returned to the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 22.

'Winning motivates you,' forward Danielle Crockrom said. 'Coach [Kim Mulkey] told us no one had beaten two ranked teams in one week this year, so we wanted to do it.'

Crockrom certainly did her part, averaging 28 points and 16 rebounds in the two games to garner Big 12 Player of the Week honors.

'Danielle is having a really good year,' Mulkey said. 'She's making sure she leaves everything on the floor.'

Guard Jessika Stratton also played a pivotal role during the stretch, as she earned the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week award. Stratton tied her career high with 15 points against the Longhorns, including an 8-9 effort from the charity stripe, while playing a game-high 35 minutes.

Stratton's chance came because leading scorer Sheila Lambert found herself in foul trouble all night and finished with just four points.

'You don't normally want a freshman to play that many minutes, but Jessika has really matured,' Mulkey said. 'When you have a lot of playing time, it leads to a lot of confidence.'

'I just come in and try to be a spark off the bench,' Stratton said. 'Against Texas we played with so much enthusiasm. We came ready.'

They certainly did. Baylor jumped out to an 8-0 lead, extended it to 15-2 and eventually led 22-4. The Longhorns scored all of one basket in the first 11 minutes of play and never got closer than 16 points in the second half.

Saturday's raucous crowd of 6,693 marked the largest home attendance mark of the season and the largest regular-season crowd in school history.

'We really try to protect our home court,' Crockrom said. 'The crowd was so good.'

Baylor's next game has been moved back a day to 6 p.m. Thursday evening against Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. The change was made because a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Gallagher-Iba Arena to honor the victims of Saturday's plane crash.

Eight people associated with the OSU men's basketball team, including two players, died in the accident.

'It's going to be a challenge,' Crockrom said. 'Our players, our coaches, everyone sympathizes with OSU and what they're going through. We'll have to keep our concentration.'