Feb. 23, 2008
Final Stats |
AP Photo Gallery
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Baylor coach Kim Mulkey had a choice to make. The ninth-ranked Bears were trailing midway through the second half and Angela Tisdale, their top scoring threat, had four fouls.
Mulkey rolled the dice and stuck with Tisdale. It proved to be the right call, as Tisdale helped Baylor rally for a 59-54 win Saturday over Iowa State.
Jessica Morrow scored 18 points and Tisdale added 14 - including 12 in the second half. The Bears finished the game on a 15-4 run and snapped a two-game road losing streak.
Baylor brought just nine players to Ames and used only seven. But Mulkey believed Baylor would be in more trouble with Tisdale on the bench than on the floor.
"It's called trust," Mulkey said. "We couldn't get anything going offensively and I thought we've got a senior here and it's her last chance to win a Big 12 championship...I'm not going to lose with her sitting right here."
Baylor (23-3, 11-2 Big 12) trailed the entire second half until Melissa Jones hit a 3-pointer to put the Bears ahead 55-54 with 2:13 left. Iowa State got a shot-clock violation on its next possession, and Tisdale found Rachel Allison for an easy score inside to give Baylor a three-point lead with 1:07 to go.
Iowa State gave it right back to Baylor, and Tisdale buried a jumper from the top of the key for the winning margin. Tisdale, the Bears' top scorer with a 15-point average, had nine points after picking up her fourth foul.
"She made me look good," Mulkey said.
Jocelyn Anderson had 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks and Alison Lacey added 13 points for Iowa State (16-10, 5-8), which played its fourth straight game against a ranked opponent.
Iowa State led 38-32 on a jumper by freshman Kelsey Bolte early in the second half. Baylor crept within 40-39 on a 3-pointer by Morrow, but Tisdale picked up her fourth foul soon after.
The Bears reinserted Tisdale with 9:20 left, and she hit a basket that tied the game at 44. Iowa State went on a 6-0 run, capped by a runner from Lacey, to go up 50-44 with 6:07 to play.
Tisdale's jumper made it 50-all with 3:44 left.
"She's a great player. She knows how to defend, she knows how to be smart," Iowa State's Heather Ezell said of Tisdale.
Baylor has won seven of its last eight meetings with Iowa State. Allison had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears, who outscored the Cyclones 26-14 in the paint.
"It's very big because we have lost our last two road games, and to get one on the road and get our confidence back up, it's very big for us," Tisdale said.
The loss was a blow to Iowa State's at-large NCAA tournament hopes. The Cyclones will likely need wins in two of its final three regular season games and a decent showing in the Big 12 tournament to earn a bid.
"You've got to make a shot when you're open," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "We got outhustled at critical times at the end of the game."
Iowa State started out strong against the Big 12's top 3-point defensive team, nailing five of its first nine beyond the arc. The Cyclones weren't able to capitalize, though, as Baylor maintained a slim lead for most of the first half.
Iowa State finally took the lead thanks to its defense, which held the Bears to one field goal in the final 8:17 of the opening half. The Cyclones led, 26-25, on a 3 by Amanda Nislet, and she added another with a second left to put her team ahead 31-27 at halftime.
The Bears had a 20-1 record this season, but they're just 3-2 since losing starting guard Jhasmin Player to a torn ACL in her left knee. But they've appeared to have adjusted to life without Player, following up Monday's win over No. 11 Oklahoma with a win at Iowa State, which likes to defend its homecourt advantage.
"We're 23-3 now and fighting for a Big 12 title with seven basketball players. That's the story that needs to be written. Not what we don't have, but what we're doing with what we do have," Mulkey said.