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Lady Bears fend off Fresno State, 72-65

March 27, 2003

By Julie Huval

The Lady Bear basketball team had to boost their energy in the second half to top Fresno State University in the third round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament Wednesday night. After a dismal first half Baylor came sweeping back to win the game 72-65 and sent the Bulldogs packing back to California.

'They jumped on us,' head Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said. 'Let me first give credit to Fresno State. They played very inspired basketball.'

During the first half, Fresno State's guard Lindsay Logan made 22 points with three rebounds.

'Logan lit us up in the first half,' Mulkey said.

Logan's quickness and three-pointers were hard to keep up with for the Lady Bears.

Baylor only could respond with one of six three-pointers attempted and Steffanie Blackmon, a sophomore post, who scored 10 of Baylor's 33 points in the first half.

'We looked lost out there on the court,' Blackmon said. 'We weren't rotating correctly. We weren't doing things we needed to do. It was things that were correctable.'

Even though Baylor was trailing by 15 points at one point during the first half, the team managed to bring the half time score to within single digits of the Bulldogs, 40-33.

'The end of the first half made the difference in the ball game,' Mulkey said. 'We have been in those situations before where we've been down. A&M in the conference tournament, we were down nine and came back with a stronger second half.'

The Lady Bears came back in after the break with energy and speed.

'Positioning was more of a factor,' Mulkey said.

With 14 minutes left in the second half, Baylor had captured the lead with a 14-point gap.

The Lady Bears kept the Bulldogs from scoring during an eight-minute stretch in the second half that allowed Baylor a cushion.

Logan finished the game for Fresno State with 30 points, almost half of the team's final score. Recording the only double-double on the night was Fresno State's Omelogo Udeze with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

The main shooter for Baylor was Blackmon with 20 points followed by Ebony Jackson with 13 points, including seven assists.

'We were energized,' Mulkey said. 'The crowd was vocal and outstanding tonight.'

Another aspect to the game was the news of a derogatory comment made by Fresno State's head Coach Stacy Johnson-Klein after the team found out that their quarterfinal game would be played in Waco. The comment did not affect the team.

'We come out here, and we are focused on ourselves,' Stasha Richards, a senior forward, said. 'We are a young team, and we have to worry about ourselves.'

After the game, Johnson said that Baylor is a very good basketball team and hopes that they win it all.

Baylor is now in the final four of the WNIT and will play the winner of Colorado State University and the University of Missouri in the semifinals.