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National champs outstrip Cotton Blossoms 107-53

Nov. 8, 2005

by JORDAN DANIEL, sports writer

The defending national champion Lady Bears basketball team raced out to a 12-0 lead against the University of Arkansas at Monticello and never looked back, dominating the Cotton Blossoms on the way to a 107-53 victory.

Every member of the squad saw action, including the team's four freshman who played the final eight minutes of the first half.

Robyn Kenagy | Lariat staff
Freshman post Tricia Abbott shoots over Arkansas-Monticello center Wendy Young as the Lady Bears cruise to a 107-53 victory Monday night at the Ferrell Special Events Center. Abbott contributed 17 points and nine rebounds.
"I got to play them together a lot, and then I got to mix them in with the veterans and get a look at some different rotations," head Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said.

In her collegiate debut, freshman guard Jhasmin Player recorded a double-double, posting 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Bears. On the evening, all four freshmen scored in double figures, led by Houston forward Tricia Abbott's 17 points.

"I didn't know she had a double-double until someone just told me," Mulkey said. "I'm sure she'll rag on the post players that she got more rebounds than they did."

Senior All-American Sophia Young paced the Lady Bears in scoring, posting 20 points in the first of two exhibition contests for Baylor.

Young played a near flawless game, hitting all 10 of her attempts from the floor and pulling down seven rebounds.

"I was just ready to get out there on the court and play," Young said. "I was so excited because it's my last season."

The Cotton Blossom's 2004 leading scorer, senior center Wendy Young, was called for a blocking foul with 6:31 left in the game.

Monticello's Young remained on the floor for five minutes until being helped off of the court by team trainers.

"I think she got hit really hard," Sophia Young said. "When she took the charge she just landed on her head and hurt her back. Her back was already hurting."

Blossoms' senior guard Theresa Tran led Arkansas-Monticello in scoring, draining all three treys she attempted and finishing with 11 points against a tough Baylor defense.

The Blossoms attempted 30 3-pointers for the game, knocking down 14 of them. Mulkey said she was disappointed in the defense and knows the Lady Bears must improve their perimeter defense.

"I think we better get to work defending the three because I think that was the worst part of the game tonight," Mulkey said.

The Lady Bears' defense stifled Arkansas-Monticello, forcing 20 turnovers while the offense committed only 10 turnovers despite playing all four freshman at the same time.

"I think we were in the passing lanes a lot," freshman forward Rachel Allison said. "Coach (Mulkey) emphasizes being in the passing lanes at all times and dropping down on help side."

Arkansas-Monticello fouled the Lady Bears a total of 20 times in the contest, compared to just six total fouls committed by Baylor.

"In practice we are taught to just shoot and not anticipate the foul so we were kind of prepared for that," Allison said.

The Lady Bears tallied 29 fast-break points, including 22 points off of Cotton Blossoms' turnovers.

"Our defense was probably our best offense," Player said. "We had a lot of fast-break points and rebounds. As soon as we get rebounds we try to run the floor."

The Lady Bears will host another exhibition match against the University of Houston at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Ferrell Special Events Center.