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Men's, women's teams gain conference wins over weekend

Jan. 27, 2004

Staff and wire reports

Over the weekend, both the Bears and the Lady Bears clinched conference wins.

The men defeated the Iowa State University Cyclones, 63-59, while the women traveled to Norman, Okla. to defeat the No. 15 ranked Oklahoma Sooners 74-67.

In sports, the numbers don't lie. The team with the strongest statistics usually wins the game. But the Baylor men's basketball team defied the stats, a troubled summer and the predictions of the media to snag the win.

The victory is the first conference win for head Coach Scott Drew and elevates the Bears to 1-3 in the Big 12 and 6-11 on the season. The Cyclones drop to 2-2 in the Big 12 and extend their conference road-losing streak to 19 games.

The Bear's statistics were not good, particularly in the first half. Baylor shot a dismal 27 percent from the field in the first half, including 1 for 11, or 9 percent, from the 3-point arc. In fact, Baylor made only one perimeter shot in the entire first half ä a three pointer from sophomore forward Corey Herring. Herring led the Bears with 16 points.

At the half, Baylor carried a shaky 21-20 advantage into the locker room.

The 21 points compiled at the half came from dunks, layups, Herring's 3-pointer and free throws. The Bears remained scoreless for a seven-minute stretch and scored only four points during a 12-minute stretch.

'When you look at the stats, you don't think we should have won the game,' senior guard Matt Sayman said. 'That just shows ... it's anybody's ball game.'

Tenacious defense and rebounding offset the offensive struggles of the Bears. The Bears held an ISU offense that was ranked second in the Big 12 in 3-point shooting and had scored 70 or more points in all but one game at bay.

Baylor played stifling defense, holding the Cyclones to 44 percent shooting from the field and percent shooting from the 3-point arc.

'I thought Coach Drew's team played very hard tonight,' Cyclone head Coach Wayne Morgan.

Coming out of the half, Baylor briefly caught fire, draining several perimeter shots to open a 48-37 lead.

Two free throws by Sayman and another basket by the Cyclones with 28 seconds remaining left the Bears up by two.

Those two points were the last the Cyclones saw of the Bears. Free throws by senior forward R.T. Guinn, Herring and freshman guard Marshall sealed the victory.

The Bears face the University of Oklahoma Sooners 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Ferrell Special Events Center.

The Lady Bears also found success this weekend as senior guard Jessika Stratton scored 20 points and sophomore forward Chameka Scott hit two off-balance jumpers in the final two minutes Saturday to lead No. 19 Baylor past No. 15 Oklahoma 74-67.

Freshman forward Emily Niemann hit the go-ahead 3-pointer for the Bears (16-3, 4-2 Big 12) to spark a late 7-0 run in the second half that clinched the victory.

The Lady Bears who trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, rallied behind Stratton's 4-of-5 effort from the 3-point line and plenty of balance offensively.

Senior post Steffanie Blackmon added 15 points and eight rebounds for Baylor, while Niemann and sophomore forward Sophia Young each scored 11 points.

Oklahoma, 13-4, 3-3, has lost two straight, including a 69-51 defeat of the Iowa State Cyclones on Tuesday.

The Sooners committed 21 turnovers and shot just 39 percent from the field in the second half as Baylor mounted its comeback.

In addition to the win, Stratton was named Big 12 Co-Player of the Week alongside Nebraska's Margaret Richards.

This is the second time this season the Lady Bears have been given this award, with Sophia Young taking the honors last week.>