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Women increase outside shooting

Nov. 19, 2010

By Rachel Roach and Matt Larsen
Sports Writers

Coming from last place in 3-point shooting for the Big 12 in the 2009 season, the Lady Bears perimeter shooting is expected to make improvements.

"I think we're shooting pretty good from the three," head coach Kim Mulkey said in an interview Thursday. "I wouldn't look at our 3-point shooting today and think we're the same team as last year."

After a solid performance Tuesday evening against the University of Connecticut freshman Odyssey Sims was evidence of improved outside shooting.

Scoring all of Baylor's shots from above the arc at 3 of 3, Sims served as an offensive threat.

Fellow sophomore Kimetria Hayden, saw the benefit of having a three-point threat on the floor while running the floor for fast break opportunities and looking to drive.

"It's hard for a defense to try to stop me from going to the goal and try to stop a 3-point shooter in the corner," Hayden said. "It gives us a good offense to throw off the defense a little bit."

However, Sims isn't the only player that will lead the Bears this season.

Junior Terran Condrey caught fire in the game before UConn, when she dropped four three-pointers in a matter of minutes against a Rice squad intent on protecting the paint.

Rice and UConn, like most teams that have played the Bears both last year and so far this season, focused their defensive efforts on containing sophomore Brittney Griner. Often this contain looks like doubling or tripling up on the 6-foot-8 post, which leaves space for perimeter shooters like Condrey and Sims to cash in.

In previous years, the Bears often looked to now-senior guard Melissa Jones for that much-needed spark.

Jones led the team in both attempted and made threes despite a knee-injury that kept her sidelined off-and-on for a good portion of last season. Her absence left the Bears with a need for perimeter shooters to step up.

So far in 2010-2011, a number of candidates have answered the call as four Lady Bears have attempted more than 10 threes (none of them Jones), and all four are shooting at or above the .333 mark. Sophomore Jordan Madden and freshman Makenzie Robertson join Condrey and Sims on that list.

"I'm comfortable with all of them," Mulkey said.

The only reservation's the head coach has is with unpredictable circumstances. "What I'm not comfortable with are situations in the game you can't help, and that's experience," Mulkey said.

After the Bears play together more, and gain confidence the team will play better in game situations, sophomore Brittney Griner said.

"In practice I feel our players are shooting pretty good. It's just getting confidence to knock it down in the game" she said.