By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
A strong second-half team all year, Baylor's top-ranked acrobatics & tumbling team (6-0) followed a similar script in dominating the seventh-ranked Fairmont State Fighting Falcons, 284.835-266.410, Monday night at the Ferrell Center.
Leading by just over 2 ½ points at halftime (97.95-95.40), the Bears stretched it out with strong showings in toss and tumbling and then had a season-high team event score of 101.01 to finish off their second-most lopsided win of the year and 14th win in a row.
"We can really lengthen that lead a lot of times in the tumbling events," said coach Felecia Mulkey, who is 36-1 in four seasons at Baylor. "Today wasn't our best tumbling event. I was really proud of our toss event today. Usually, it's hit or miss with us in toss, it's not one of our strengths. We're working on that. We've become a second-half team, now we've got to get the first half down."
Winning 19 of 20 heats overall, Baylor scored 38.85 in compulsory and its second-highest score ever in acro (29.80) before a narrow 29.30-29.20 edge in pyramid that left the Bears milking a 2.55-point lead going into the halftime break.
Mulkey said she was "really proud of them" after the team's sixth meet in as many weeks. "I've been doing this a million years, or at least as long as it's been around, and I've never had that many meets in that short of a time."
Sweeping all nine heats in the toss and tumbling events, Baylor outscored the visiting Falcons in both toss (29.25-27.30) and tumbling (56.625-50.850). The biggest difference was in the open pass, when All-American Lauren Sturm recorded a 9.825 score after the Fairmont State competitor landed awkwardly and scored a 7.450.
The closing team event put the exclamation on Baylor's win, with the Bears scoring a season-high 101.01 out of a start value of 108.77 and outscoring the Falcons by more than eight points (92.86).
Mulkey said the frontloaded schedule "looks like it's going to play in our favor," because "we want to make some changes, we're going to up our difficulty, we're going to change things up. I'd rather have that crazy February, so now we have some time to make the changes. But, I'm really proud of them."
After taking next weekend off, the Bears will host third-ranked Azuza Pacific at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24.
"I think we're in a good place, team-wise," Mulkey said. "We're going to be able to make some changes and improve even more and really clean some things up, and hopefully get some higher scores. I think we can score higher in a lot of places."
WACO, Texas - The top-ranked and three-time defending national champion Baylor acrobatics & tumbling team (6-0) took down the seventh-ranked Fairmont State Fighting Falcons (3-1), 284.835-266.410, on Monday evening at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears started off the meet strong, winning the compulsory and acro events to take a 68.65-66.20 lead. In the final event before halftime, the Bears extended their lead to 97.95-95.40 by winning the pyramid event, 29.30-29.20.
The Bears began the second half by winning all nine heats in the toss and tumbling events to extend their lead to 183.825-173.550. Baylor won the team event, 101.01-92.86, to secure the 284.835-266.410 victory.
o Baylor is now 36-1 under head coach Felecia Mulkey.
o Baylor has now won its last 14 meets dating back to last season.
o Baylor has started 6-0 in three of its last four seasons.
o The Bears' compulsory event score of 38.85 was their second highest total on the year in that event.
o The Bears set or tied their season high score in all three acro heats.
o Baylor scored a 9.50 or higher in each heat of the compulsory, acro, pyramid and toss events.
o The Bears won 19 of the 20 total heats.
o Baylor won all six events for just the second time this season.
o The Bears score of 101.01 in the team event was its highest on the year
o The Bears final score of 284.835 was its highest on the year.
STAT OF THE DAY
o The Bears scored a 29.80 in the acro event, which is Baylor's second highest total for that event ever.
"We've had so many opportunities to go out on the floor and compete, so I think we're in a good place team-wise. We're going to be able to make some changes this week to improve even more and hopefully get some higher scores." - Head Coach Felecia Mulkey
The Bears will stay home and host No. 3 Azusa Pacific (3-0) at the Ferrell Center on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. CT. For tickets to home events, visit: http://www.baylorbears.com/tickets/. For updates on the program follow @BaylorAcroTumb on Twitter and Instagram and @BaylorAcrobaticsandTumbling on Facebook.