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Women's Hoops Tops Samford, 63-51

Dec. 13, 2008

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WACO, Texas (AP) -- Baylor coach Kim Mulkey leaned back on the bench with her arms folded and a disgusted look on her face.

The No. 10 Lady Bears were letting their huge lead over Samford dwindle away.

"I'm never comfortable when I play teams that run that Princeton offense," Mulkey said. "Add the fact that we have finals and had four players missing from shootaround, you stay nervous all day."

Still, Mulkey finished the night with her 100th non-conference victory after Baylor held on for a difficult 63-51 victory Saturday.

After Danielle Wilson scored 15 of her 19 points before halftime to push Baylor (9-1) to a double-figure lead, the Lady Bears stretched their advantage in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second half to 46-23.

But Samford (6-3), without injured point guard Megan Wilderotter, then scored 11 consecutive points to start a 23-5 run. The Bulldogs were within five with 3:34 left after consecutive 3-pointers by Alex Crow, but that was as close as they got.

"Baylor's good. I think we all know that," coach Mike Morris said. "I was very pleased with our effort as a team. ... To have a situation where the crowd had to rally the home team to get a stop or two, it was good for our team."

Rachel Allison made two free throws, the first of 10 straight for Baylor in the final 3 minutes, after being fouled on an offensive rebound and Jhasmin Player scored inside after a turnover to get Baylor past the threat.

Allison finished with 13 points and Player had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson added 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals in her 37 minutes.

Even during Samford's spurt, Wilson had a blocked shot that slowed the Bulldogs down a bit just after they had cut the deficit to under 10 for the first time sine the first half. She even showed some rare emotion by bowing her chest out.

"I like it," Player said, smiling.

"I told Danielle if you could bottle up what you did tonight and do it every night, you could make us so much better," Mulkey said. "She was contesting shots, had a little bit of cockiness. ... I tell her all the time, it's OK to get excited, OK to show a personality out there."

Baylor improved to 100-7 (.935 winning percentage) outside the Big 12 Conference in Mulkey's nine seasons. The Bears are 64-1 in nonconference home games, the only loss to then-No. 12 Purdue in 2006.

Emily London and Karmen Smith had 14 points each for Samford. Monica Maxwell had 13.

Wilderotter, who played only eight games last season before a torn ACL in her right knee, got a scare with 6 minutes left in the first half when she got tangled up with a Baylor player and fell to the floor.

Wilderotter immediately cried out in pain and had to be helped to the locker room after being tended to by trainers on the floor. But she was back on the bench after halftime without the bulky ice pack on her knee, and Morris believes it's only a hyperextended knee and not the ACL.

London scored Samford's first seven points, including a 3-pointer 40 seconds into the game. Her long jumper 5 minutes in got the Bulldogs to 10-7.

Wilson then scored three straight layups, a stretch in which Smith became the first Bulldog other than London to score by hitting a 3-pointer. After Chika Okoli's layup for Samford, the third Wilson basket started Baylor's 16-3 run.

"Coaches have been working with me every day in practice just showing my numbers and wanting the ball," Wilson said "The guards can't get me the ball if I don't want it, so they have been working with me to want the ball even more, and score at will."



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