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Women take tourney title

Nov. 16, 2010

Daniel Cernero | Lariat Photo Editor
No. 32 forward Brooklyn Pope drives to the basket in Baylor's 83-36 win against Florida International on Friday at the Ferrell Center. The Lady Bears finished the weekend with three wins.

By Matt Larsen
Sports Writer

Though its biggest test of the season comes tonight, No. 2 Lady Bears basketball set the tone for that test by winning all three games of the three-day World Vision Invitational it hosted to kick off the non-conference season this past weekend.

Before they could travel to Hartford, Conn., to take on the No. 1 University of Connecticut Huskies for their fourth game in five days, the Lady Bears played host to Florida International University, Montana State University and Rice University on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Baylor took all three contests, winning 83-36, 93-56 and 95-51.

"I'm glad we got to see some different things tonight," head coach Kim Mulkey said after defeating Rice. "When [Rice coach Greg Williams] went to the two-two-one press, it was very good that he threw that at us. So we got to do some things you may see Tuesday and they are certainly going to see it throughout the year."

Mulkey saw a number of players step up to lead as three different players led the team in scoring in each of the three games.

ESPN Showdown: No. 1 UConn hosts No. 2 Baylor

Most No. 1-No. 2 matchups don't come until March, but the No. 2 ranked Lady Bears travel to Connecticut tonight to take on the No. 1 ranked Huskies. Connecticut holds the longest win-streak in NCAA history, having won the last 79 games.

One of those wins came last April when the Huskies beat the Lady Bears 70-50 in the NCAA tournament semifinals before going on to claim their second straight national title.

Connecticut lost five seniors from last year's team but returns its leading scorer from last year, senior forward Maya Moore, who averaged 18.9 points a game.

Sophomore post Brittney Griner started off the season with a double-double, putting up 19 points and 10 rebounds against FIU. Melissa Jones added 17 points of her own and was one board shy of a double-double.

Jones notched that double-double the next game against Montana State, posting 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Junior Terran Condrey stole the spotlight Sunday afternoon against Rice when she hit four 3-pointers in a matter of three minutes on the way to a 16-point evening.

"I was surprised they didn't come out on me," Condrey said as the Owls seemed content to let her keep shooting from outside the arc. "But I'm not surprised that I made the shots because I made them a lot in practice."

Another Baylor shooter took advantage of the opportunity to shoot from outside, as freshman Makenzie Robertson also dropped four threes, hers coming in the second half.

Though the Owls packed the paint in hopes of keeping Griner under control, the Lady Bears managed to control the boards as Jones, sophomore Brooklyn Pope and Griner -- the starting 3, 4, and 5 positions -- all hauled down double-digit rebounds.

Mulkey also praised her young guards, sophomore Kimetria Hayden and freshman Odyssey Sims, for their ability to limit the turnovers.

"I think we had one turnover at the half," she said. "I enjoy watching kids that take care of the basketball."

Hayden started all three games at point guard, but Sims played significant minutes in all three as well.

Now the No. 2 Lady Bears take on No. 1 UConn at 5 p.m. today on ESPN 2.