Brittney Griner (42) shoots over Louisiana Tech's Jasmine Bendolph (33) during the second half. (AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty)
Dec. 5, 2009
WACO, Texas (AP) - Coaching against her alma mater for the first time, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey just wished her team played with more intensity.
The former Louisiana Tech point guard watched her eighth-ranked Lady Bears build a 24-point lead Saturday, then have to hang on to beat the determined Lady Techsters 77-67.
"There was no sense of urgency," Mulkey fumed afterwards. "No understanding that Louisiana Tech is a very good basketball team -- with a coach who is very intense -- and they're not going to quit. I thought we had some (veteran) players who coasted today."
Shanavia Dowdell had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Techsters (3-2), while Tarkeisha Wysinger scored 13 points.
Lousiana Tech challenged Baylor with man-to-man defense, something no opponent -- not even No. 6 Tennessee -- tried with the 6-foot-8 Griner dominating the low post. The Lady Bears exploited the set in the first half for several easy baskets inside, but seemed to run out of steam as the game wore on.
With Dowdell, Wysinger and Adrienne Johnson doing most of the damage, the Lady Techsters outscored Baylor in the second half, 43-34. They also battled the Lady Bears, who had outrebounded opponents by an average of 16 per game, to a standoff on the boards.
"Give Teresa Weatherspoon credit, she's got guts," Mulkey said of the Tech coach, herself a former Lady Techster all-American. "She played man-to-man when nobody else would play man-to-man against us, and I loved every minute of it."
"That's who we are," said Weatherspoon, who replaced Chris Long in February. "We're man-to-man and in your face."
Baylor took control with a 12-0 run midway through the first half, sparked by a five-point possession on which Griner scored on a putback and drew a foul. Weatherspoon's protest drew a technical foul, and Melissa Jones hit two free throws before Griner converted her three-point play.
Griner added two free throws and a pair of short jumpers, then turned a steal into a fast break that led to a Terran Condrey 3-pointer, completing a 28-6 run that made it 32-12 with 6 minutes left in the half.