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Women's hoops claim last home game

March 6, 2003

By Whitney Long

In their last regular season home game, the Lady Bears beat the Oklahoma State University Cowgirls 89-46 at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

'We played so much better this time,' Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said. 'We actually responded. We didn't respond at Oklahoma State.'

The Lady Bears lost to the Cowgirls by nine points when they faced them in Stillwater, Okla., in February.

Senior forward Stasha Richards kicked off the game by sinking her first three-pointer of the night. Richards' shot was symbolic of the past four years of her Baylor basketball career.

Richards played well tonight in her last home game, Mulkey said.

'Thanks, Stasha, for four great years,' she said.

Richards finished the game with 10 points, making a three-pointer at the end to push her into double digits.

The Lady Bears established a lead early in the game, ending the half 42-27.

Freshman forward Sophia Young led Baylor's team with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Young scored off her inside game, making mostly layups and jump shots.

Sophomore post Steffanie Blackmon finished the game with 15 points and six rebounds.

'I just tried to do what I could do,' Blackmon said. 'Everybody, though, did great tonight. We were active all over the court.'

Junior guard Jessika Stratton contributed 12 points and seven assists for the Lady Bears. She said the team had been working on defense in the lower post position. Practicing their defense was crucial in order to stop Oklahoma State junior Trisha Skibbe.

'We wanted to focus on not allowing Skibbe to make that jump shot she likes to take,' Stratton said.

Skibbe, a 6-foot, 2-inch post, scored 10 points and had nine rebounds for the game.

Baylor freshman guard Ebony Jackson scored 10 points and had five assists.

'We made sure we got a shot every time,' Stratton said. 'We did a good job taking care of the ball and getting it to our posts.'

The depth of the bench also contributed to Baylor's offense.

Sophomore guard Chelsea Whitaker scored eight points and sophomore guard Jordan Davis scored six points. Freshman guard Chameka Scott, sophomore post Melanie Hamerly and junior forward Dionne Brown each added four points to the board for Baylor.

'We are playing good basketball,' Mulkey said. 'If you look at the stats, it's all spread out. This allows us to grow and become a better team.'

The Lady Bears now have a conference record 8-8, which gives them a better opportunity to attend the NCAA championship tournament.

Mulkey thinks her team is 'NCAA tournament-ready,' and the Lady Bears are becoming 'more and more confident.'