Bernice Mosby shoots over UCLA's Amanda Livingston in the first half.
Dec. 17, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) -Jessica Morrow is becoming a force on the court and that's good news for Baylor.
Morrow scored a career-high 24 points to lead the ninth-ranked Bears to an 83-70 victory over UCLA on Sunday.
The game was the fifth in the past six that Morrow has scored in double figures. Before that stretch, the sophomore had been averaging 6.0 points.
"I'm confident in my shot, but I struggled early on," Morrow said. "My teammates kept reminding me, 'Keep playing. Keep playing and it will come.' I guess that's what happened."
Bears coach Kim Mulkey said Morrow can play a pivotal role.
"Jessica Morrow can be the key to this team," Mulkey said. "She is smooth out there when you watch her play. She is a 6-foot-3 player who can shoot the perimeter shot and get in there and mix it up with you for rebounds.
"I want her to be a little bit more aggressive. If she continues to do that, the things that have happened to her in the last three or four games will continue to happen. When those things happen, we're a very difficult team to guard."
Noelle Quinn scored 19 points and Lindsey Pluimer had 18 points for the Bruins (6-6), who lost their third game to a Top 10 team this season.
"They're definitely more athletic than Tennessee," Pluimer said of the Bears. "They don't take breaks."
Baylor forced nine turnovers in the first nine minutes to build a 23-10 lead with 8:40 left in the first half. Morrow and Latara Darrett each scored six points during the surge, as the Bears shot 50 percent in the first half.
UCLA committed 15 turnovers and shot 33.3 percent in the first half.
"We were caught off guard by how aggressive and athletic they were," Bruins coach Kathy Olivier said. "The first five minutes were kind of a wake-up call."
Baylor extended the margin to 20 points early in the second half before the Bruins cut it to 11 points with 5:36 to play. But Mosby converted Jhasmin Player's steal into a three-point play to give the Bears a 73-59 lead with 5:03 left.
Mosby scored eight points in the final five minutes.