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Lady Bears Take on No. 7 Louisville

Jessica Morrow is one of three seniors trying to keep their season from ending.

Jessica Morrow is one of three seniors trying to keep their season from ending.

March 26, 2009

#5/5 Baylor (29-5) vs. #7/7 Louisville (31-4)

Saturday, March 28 - 11:00 a.m. (CDT)

NCAA Sweet 16
RBC Center (19,500)
Raleigh, N.C.

OVER THE AIRWAVES
TV: ESPN

Mike Patrick, play-by-play
Doris Burke, analyst
Holly Rowe, sideline

Internet Feeds
Webcast: BaylorBears.com
Live audio (free)
ESPN360.com

Radio: KLRK - 92.9 FM - Waco

Radio Talent:
Rick May, play-by-play
Lori Fogleman, color analyst

2009 NCAA Tournament
Raleigh Regional

Sweet 16 - March 28 (Saturday)
RBC Center - Raleigh, N.C.

No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 3 Louisville - 11:00 a.m. (CDT)
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 4 Vanderbilt - 1:30 p.m. (CDT)

Elite Eight - March 30 (Monday)
Winner game 1 vs. winner game 2 - 6:00 p.m. (CDT)

The fifth-ranked Baylor Lady Bears, 29-5 on the season and winners of six straight games, advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006 with an overtime victory over UT-San Antonio (87-82) and a 60-58 win over 16th-ranked South Dakota State.

Baylor, a No. 2 seed, is competing in its sixth straight and eighth all-time NCAA Tournament, as all eight appearances have come since head coach Kim Mulkey assumed the program's helm. BU is 15-5 in NCAA Tournament games including 7-1 in first round games, 4-3 in second round games, 1-2 in the Sweet 16, 1-0 in the Elite Eight, 1-0 in the semifinals and 1-0 in championship games.

The Lady Bears, a No. 2 seed for the third time in program history, are making their fourth Sweet 16 appearance. Baylor secured the program's second automatic bid after claiming the Big 12 Championship with a 72-63 victory over 10th-ranked Texas A&M in the title game, March 14.

Baylor advances to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 for the fourth time in program history and first time since 2006. A victory on Saturday afternoon over No. 3 seed Louisville would propel the Lady Bears into the regional finals for the second time in program history and the first since the 2005 NCAA title.

 

 

The seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals enter the contest at 31-4 after first- and second-round victories over Liberty (62-42) and LSU (62-52), respectively, in Baton Rouge, La. The Cardinals are led by BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and All-BIG EAST performer Angel McCoughtry, a 6-1, senior forward, who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding with 23.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a game.

BAYLOR LADY BEARS

IN THE POLLS
5 - Associated Press
5 - USA Today/ESPN Coaches

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game)
21 Kelli Griffin - So., 5-8 - 6.9 ppg, 3.7 apg
15 Jhasmin Player - Sr., 5-10 - 10.7 ppg, 5.6 apg
3 Jessica Morrow - Sr., 6-0 - 11.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg
14 Rachel Allison - Sr., 6-1- 8.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg
24 Ashley Field - Fr., 6-2 - 3.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS

IN THE POLLS
7 - Associated Press
7 - USA Today/ESPN Coaches

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game)
50 Deseree'Byrd - So., G, 5-9 - 7.5 ppg, 5.1 apg
15 Tiera Stephen - Fr., G, 5-7 - 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg
35 Angel McCoughtry - Sr., F, 6-1 - 23.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg
13 Candyce Bingham - Sr., F, 6-1 - 12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg
4 Gwen Rucker - Fr., F, 6-1 - 2.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg

BAYOR'S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Baylor is competing in its sixth straight and eighth all-time NCAA Tournament, as all appearances have come since head coach Kim Mulkey assumed the program's helm. BU is 15-6 in NCAA Tournament games including 7-1 in first round games, 4-3 in second round games, 1-2 in the Sweet 16, 1-0 in the Elite Eight, 1-0 in the semifinals and 1-0 in championship games. BU has won its first-round game in each of its last seven NCAA trips.

2001- No. 8 seed - West Region - Durham, N.C. (Duke host)
First round - lost to No. 9 seed Arkansas (68-59)

2002- No. 2 seed - East Region - Waco, Texas (Baylor host)
First round - def. No. 15 seed Bucknell (80-56)
Second round - lost to No. 7 seed Drake (76-72)

2004- No. 4 seed - Midwest Region - Albuquerque (University of New Mexico host)
First round - def. No. 13 seed Loyola Marymount (71-60)
Second round - def. No. 5 seed Florida (91-76)
Sweet 16 - lost to No. 1 Tennessee (71-69) (Oklahoma host)

2005 - No. 2 seed - Tempe Regional - Seattle (University of Washington host)
First round - def. No. 15 seed Illinois State (91-70)
Second round - def. No. 10 seed Oregon (69-46)
Sweet 16 - def. No. 3 seed Minnesota (64-57) (Tempe - Arizona State host)
Elite Eight - def. No. 1 seed North Carolina (72-63)
Semifinal - def. No. 1 seed LSU (68-57) (Indianapolis)
Championship - def. No. 1 seed Michigan State (84-62)

2006 - No. 3 seed - Albuquerque Regional - Tucson (University of Arizona host)
First round - def. No. 14 seed Northern Arizona (74-56)
Second round - def. No. 11 seed New Mexico (87-67)
Sweet 16 - lost to No. 2 seed Maryland (82-63) (Albuquerque - New Mexico host)

2007 - No. 5 seed - Fresno Regional - Raleigh, N.C. (N.C. State host)
First round - def. No. 12 seed Chattanooga 68-55
Second round - lost to No. 4 seed North Carolina State 78-72 OT

2008 - No. 3 seed - Spokane Regional - Albuquerque (New Mexico host)
First round - def. No. 14 seed Fresno State 88-67
Second round - lost to No. 6 seed Pittsburgh 67-59

2009 - No. 3 seed - Raleigh Regional - Lubbock (Texas Tech host)
First round - def. No. 15 seed UT-San Antonio 87-82 (OT)
Second Round - def. No. 7 seed South Dakota State 60-58
Sweet 16 - vs. No. 3 seed Louisville (Raleigh, N.C. - N.C. State host)

LADY BEARS IN 2009 POSTSEASON
Senior guard Jessica Morrow and sophomore Melissa Jones have led Baylor in scoring in the Lady Bears' five 2009 postseason games. Both are averaging 12.2 points a game, including a combined 15-of-30 from 3-point range (.500). Against 18th-ranked Iowa State Morrow poured in a season-high 24 points, including a career-high six treys. Jhasmin Player, a senior guard, follows closely, behind a season-high 24 points in the Big 12 Championship game, at 12.0 a contest while Morghan Medlock comes off the bench to average 11.6. Behind her career-high 21-point performance against South Dakota State, sophomore point guard Kelli Griffin raised her average to 9.2 an outing while senior forward/post Rachel Allison adds 8.6.

Allison and Jones share rebounding honors in the postseason at 8.2 each while Player manages 5.4.

The Lady Bears are shooting an impressive 115-of-277 (.415) from the floor, including 26-of-60 (.433) from beyond the arc. In addition, they are 93-of-120 (.775) from the free throw line.

29 VICTORIES
With their 29 season victories, the 2008-09 Lady Bears have posted the second-most wins under head coach Kim Mulkey. The only year Baylor produced more victories under Coach Mulkey was 2005, the year it won the NCAA championship with 33 wins. A win over Louisville would be the program's fifth 30-win season all-time and the second since NCAA sponsorship began in 1981-82.

SINCE WILSON'S INJURY
Since junior post Danielle Wilson's knee injury, Feb. 28, the Lady Bears have posted a 7-1 record which includes five victories over top 25 ranked opponents (No. 16 Texas, No. 10 Texas A&M [twice], No. 18 Iowa State, No. 16 South Dakota State), a Big 12 Conference postseason tournament championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.

Over those seven games, Jessica Morrow has led the team with 13.0 points a game while Jhasmin Player has contributed 12.5, Morghan Medlock comes off the bench to score 9.5, Melissa Jones adds 9.3 and Kelli Griffin manages 8.9. Rebounding has been balanced as Rachel Allison hauls down 8.0 a game while Melissa Jones averages 7.9, Player 6.6 and Medlock 4.4.

LADY BEAR LEADERS
With 34 games under its belt, Baylor continues to rank among the Big 12 Conference leaders in rebounding and is No. 8 nationally in rebounding margin (+8.5). Four players haul down 5.6 or more rebounds a contest, junior post Danielle Wilson leads the way with 9.6, senior post Rachel Allison ranks second on the squad with 6.4 and sophomore guard Melissa Jones hauls in 6.0 while senior guard Jhasmin Player manages 5.7. The Lady Bears average 43.1 rebounds a contest while limiting their opponents to just 35.2.

Wilson, currently sidelined by a knee injury, leads the team in both scoring and rebounding at 15.1 points and 9.6 boards a game while senior guard Jessica Morrow ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.4 a contest and Player completes Baylor's double-digit scorers at 10.7 a game.

BAYLOR QUICK HITS
• All three of Baylor's seniors, Rachel Allison, Jessica Morrow and Jhasmin Player, are scheduled to graduate in May 2009. The trio has posted a 106-27 (.797) record, including a 59-7 (.894) Ferrell Center mark, throughout their four years. This class has posted three Big 12 Conference second-place finishes, one third-place finish, a Big 12 Championship postseason tournament championship (2009) and two Sweet 16 appearances (2006, 2009).

• Senior Jhasmin Player now ranks No. 10 on BU's all-time steals list with 192. In addition, she needs 15 points to reach 1,000 for her career.

• Sophomore Melissa Jones entered the South Dakota State game having made 31 consecutive free throws since a first-half miss at Texas; with six makes to begin the game, she set a Baylor record of 37 consecutive free throws made, bettering Jessika Stratton's 32 straight makes, set in the 2004-05 season.

• Baylor is 10-3 versus ranked opponents this season and 4-2 against top 10 teams.

• BU has won at least 24 games in each of the last eight years, the league's longest active 20-game win streak. The Lady Bears have posted nine consecutive 20-win seasons all told. In addition they have posted 20-win seasons in each of last nine seasons and six straight 25-plus win seasons.

SUPER SOPHOMORES
Baylor's sophomore guard tandem of Kelli Griffin and Melissa Jones have been producing impressive numbers in the NCAA Tournament. In Baylor's 87-82 victory over UTSA in first-round action, Jones scored a career-high 21 points while adding 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. She was 6-of-11 from the floor, including 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Against South Dakota State the tandem combined for 20 of Baylor's 28 first-half points, tallying 10 apiece. Griffin went on to score a career-high 21 points and added three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 38 minutes of action. She was 7-of-14 from the floor, 2-for-3 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. In addition, Griffin scored Baylor's winning bucket with 0.5 seconds left on the clock. Again, Jones turned in a good performance with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. The two players combined to shoot 10-for-19 (.526) from the floor, 11-of-12 (.917) from the free throw line and hauled down 10 of BU's 30 rebounds.

BENCH POINTS
During Baylor's five 2009 postseason games, the Lady Bear bench has scored 37.2 percent of the team's points, tallying 130 of 349 points. Of Baylor's 130 points during that span, Melissa Jones and Morghan Medlock have accounted for 119 points with 61 and 58, respectively.

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
The seventh-ranked and third-seeded Louisville Cardinals enter the contest at 31-4 after first- and second-round victories over Liberty (62-42) and LSU (62-52), respectively, in Baton Rouge, La.

Louisville head coach Jeff Walz is in his second season on the Louisville campus with a record of 57-14 (.803). Prior to arriving at Louisville, Walz spent two seasons as an associate head/assistant coach at Maryland, and one as an assistant at Minnesota, five at Nebraska and two at Western Kentucky.

The Cardinals are led by BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and All-BIG EAST performer Angel McCoughtry, a 6-1, senior forward, who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding with 23.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. Senior forward Candyce Bingham, 6-1, ranks second in both categories with 12.4 points and 7.1 boards a contest.

SERIES RECORDS
This will be the first meeting between Louisville and Baylor. Maryland and BU have met once, the Terps defeated the Lady Bears, 82-63, in the 2006 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 in Albuquerque en route to the NCAA title. Vanderbilt and Baylor have never met.

COMMON OPPONENTS
Baylor and Louisville each defeated Villanova and St. John's this season.

BAYLOR VERSUS POSTSEASON TEAMS
Baylor faced 12 opponents that are participating in postseason competition and holds a 15-4 record versus those teams. Baylor posted a 10-2 record against its seven former opponents playing in the NCAA Tournament: Iowa State (2-0), Kansas State (1-0), Oklahoma (0-2), Stanford (1-0), Texas (2-0), Texas A&M (3-0) and UCF (1-0). The Lady Bears are 5-2 against their five opponents participating in the Women's WNIT: Kansas (0-1), Nebraska (1-0), Oklahoma State (3-0), St. John's (1-0) and Wisconsin (0-1).

RBC CENTER - FAMILIAR DIGS
Baylor's senior class of Rachel Allison, Jessica Morrow and Jhasmin Player have all played two games in Raleigh's RBC Center. The then-sophomore trio faced Chattanooga and N.C. State in the RBC Center in first- and second-round action, respectively, of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

The Lady Bears downed Chattanooga, 68-55, while Baylor dropped a 78-72 overtime decision to N.C. State

Leon Barmore, SAME TOURNAMENT, DIFFERENT ROLE
First-year Baylor assistant coach Leon Barmore, a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, is coaching in his 21st NCAA Tournament but in a different capacity than previously. Barmore, in his 20 seasons as Louisiana Tech's head coach, guided the Lady Techsters to 20 NCAA Tournament trips, which included a national championship in 1988, four NCAA runner-up finishes and nine NCAA Final Fours.

With head coach Kim Mulkey being sidelined by a reaction to post-surgery medication, Barmore served as head coach in Baylor's NCAA Tournament first-round game, an overtime victory over UT-San Antonio.

VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS
Baylor is 10-3 versus ranked opponents this season, 5-2 at home and 5-1 on the road. The Lady Bears own victories over No. 2 Stanford (81-65), No. 20 Iowa State (68-57 & 63-57), No. 22 Oklahoma State (75-57), No. 9 Texas A&M (64-61, 64-60, 72-63), No. 18 Kansas State (59-50), No. 16 Texas (66-57) and No. 16 South Dakota State (60-58), while losing to No. 2 Oklahoma (56-51 & 66-58) and No. 18 Texas (58-55). All rankings are listed at game time.

Baylor has five ranked road wins under its belt, at Texas A&M, at Texas, versus Iowa State (Big 12 Tournament), Texas A&M (Big 12 Tournament) and South Dakota State.

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