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Lady Bears to face Cotton Blossoms

Nov. 4, 2005

by JORDAN DANIEL, sports writer

Head Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson and the reigning national champion Lady Bears basketball team return to the floor in an exhibition contest with the University of Arkansas at Monticello at 7 p.m. Monday at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

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No. 33 senior forward Sophia Young aims for the net during a Feb. 12 game against Oklahoma State University, which the Lady Bears won 87-51. The reigning national champs return to the floor in an exhibition contest at 7 p.m. Monday in the Ferrell Center against the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
The Lady Bears return seven players from last year's team that ran through the NCAA Tournament with relative ease and defeated runner-up Michigan State University 84-62 in the championship game.

The Division II Cotton Blossoms posted a 15-14 record last season in the Gulf South Conference.

Although the Blossoms are not expected to be a major challenge for Baylor, the players are expecting to benefit from the contest.

"It's going to be fun because we've been practicing against the same old people," sophomore guard Angela Tisdale said.

"We'll get to see where we're at and see how far we need to go and see what we need to improve on," she said.

Arkansas-Monticello is led by center Wendy Young. Young averaged 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds for head Coach Bob Boldon.

Young was a teammate of Baylor senior forward Sophia Young, the team's leading scorer, All American and National Player of the Year candidate.

With key players Steffanie Blackmon, Chelsea Whitaker and Emily Niemman gone, the Lady Bears stress that this is not the same team that finished No. 1 in the nation last season.

"We lost a lot of our scoring, but I think this team has a little more quickness and very good athletes, and I think that's going to help us out a lot," senior guard Jordan Davis said.

"It's a different team, and there's a different team chemistry," he said.

The Lady Bears took a big hit over the offseason with players graduating and leaving for various reasons.

With four newcomers on the 2005 squad, exhibition and preseason games take on increased importance.

"I think it gives us a chance to warm up for the season and we get to work together on the floor and build our team chemistry," freshman forward Rachel Allison said.

"Playing against each other every day, you kind of get to know each other and you know the plays," she said.

The Lady Bears play one more exhibition game against the Houston Jaguars on Thursday at the Ferrell Center before tipping off the regular basketball season against the University of Georgia at noon Nov. 13 at the United Spirits Arena in Lubbock.