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Mosby transfers in needed experience

Nov. 15, 2006

File Photo
Bernice Mosby brings the ball up the court in an Oct. 2 exhibition game against Louisiana State University. Mosby transferred to Baylor in 2005 but only recently became eligible.

Sports writer

When Bernice Mosby signed her transfer papers to play with the Lady Bears basketball team before the 2005 season began, head Coach Kim Mulkey knew she was getting a good post player.

She just didn't know how good.

With two games now under her belt, Mosby is providing her veteran leadership and know-how to a team lacking in experience.

The Brooksville, Fla., senior is averaging 17.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per game in the Lady Bears' first two regular season contests, and some say she is stepping into the long shadow left by former All-American Sophia Young.

"I don't look at it as my team," Mosby said. "I think we have a balanced team and other teams can't really just look at me as the main scorer because other people on our team can really score, too."

Mosby's assertions are indeed correct; the Lady Bears are not wanting for offensive scoring this season. However, it was Mulkey herself who, following Baylor's gritty 81-71 win against Hofstra in the second round of the WNIT Sunday, said Mosby is stepping into the leadership vacuum left by the graduated seniors.

"We played with excitement and Bernice really led our team," Mulkey said.

Mosby's contributions this season will likely be magnified because of the youth the Lady Bears bring to the table. Mosby is one of just two seniors on the roster and is the only senior that starts or sees significant playing time.

And behind those two, junior guard Angela Tisdale is the only other upperclassman.

If the Lady Bears' first two games are any indication, Mosby will be the team's workhorse.

"Bernice is just an athlete," Mulkey said. "She is really trying to exert herself on the floor for longer periods of time and trying to fight through fatigue. She's been a great leader."

With such inexperience on both ends of the court, Mulkey has stressed that Mosby must figure into Baylor's plans for the team to succeed. And that means lots of minutes and lots of successful contributions.

Despite the obvious, Mosby's impact this season has not been limited to Baylor's opponents.

The Lady Bears have a pair of impressive 6-foot-3 freshmen, and Mosby has been their guiding force in practice and in games.

"Bernice brings tremendous intensity," freshman forward Danielle Wilson said. "In everything she does, she brings that intensity."

Mulkey said Mosby still has some things to learn, and at least for now, Mosby is still trying to fit herself in the team's hierarchy.

"I feel like I'm a partial leader because I haven't been in the program for that long," Mosby said.

"I'm just helping out and trying to become a leader, but I don't think I'm there yet. As you can see I had a good game in the first half (against Hofstra) and in the second half I kind of dropped off.

"I think that's just growing as a leader and accepting my role."

And a prominent role from Mosby could be just the thing to push this young team beyond its expectations.