|[#4 seed] Baylor (27-9) vs. [#1 seed] Connecticut (37-0)
Sunday, April 4, 2010 | 8:30 p.m. CDT
San Antonio, Texas | Alamodome (23,000)
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GAME CENTER: GAME 37
Date: Sun., April 4, 2010
Tip-Off: 8:30 p.m. CDT (approximately)
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Arena: Alamodome (23,000)
Talent: Dave O'Brien (pxp), Doris Burke (color), Holly Rowe (sideline)
Radio: Baylor ISP Sports Network; KLRK 92.9 FM (Waco)
Talent: Rick May (pxp), Lori Fogleman (color)
Video Web Stream: www.espn360.com
Audio Web Stream: www.BaylorBears.com
Live Stats: www.BaylorBears.com
BAYLOR LADY BEARS
2009-10 Record: 27-9
Ranking (AP/ESPN): 14/18
Last Game: W, 51-48, #6 Duke
Head Coach: Kim Mulkey
Career Record: 264-75 (10th season)
Record at Baylor: same
Mulkey vs. UConn: first meeting
2009-10 Record: 37-0
Ranking (AP/ESPN): 1/1
Last Game: W, 90-50, Florida State
Head Coach: Geno Auriemma
Career Record: 733-122 (25th season)
Record at UConn: same
UConn vs. Baylor: first meeting
BAYLOR IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Baylor is competing in its seventh straight and ninth all-time NCAA Tournament, as all appearances have come since head coach Kim Mulkey assumed the program's helm. BU is 19-7 in NCAA Tournament games including 8-1 in first round games, 5-3 in second round games, 2-3 in the Sweet 16, 2-0 in the Elite Eight, 1-0 in the national semifinals and 1-0 in championship games.
LADY BEARS MAKING SECOND TRIP TO FINAL FOUR
Baylor is making its second trip to the NCAA Tournament's Women's Final Four. The Lady Bears' previous national semifinal appearance came in 2005, the same year they captured the national championship.
Baylor defeated three No. 1 seeds (UNC, LSU and Michigan State) en route to the 2005 title and has defeated one top seed this season, No. 1 Tennessee, in the Sweet 16. BU will face another No. 1 seed on Sunday when it takes on top-seeded, No. 1 ranked and undefeated Connecticut.
No. 14 Baylor, 27-9 on the season, is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight year and ninth time in the last 10 years.
With its win over Georgetown, BU posted its seventh straight 25-win season and eighth in 10 seasons under Kim Mulkey. The Lady Bears have posted 12, 25-win seasons in program history.
BU's most productive starting lineup is Kelli Griffin, Shanay Washington, Melissa Jones, Morghan Medlock and Brittney Griner at 14-0.
Baylor is 16-1 on the season with Melissa Jones in the starting lineup, the lone loss came against Tennessee in both team's season opener.
The Lady Bears are 8-1 on neutral courts this season with wins over Boston College (Madison Square Garden), Gonzaga and Arizona State (Las Vegas), Colorado (Kansas City, Mo.), Fresno State and Georgetown (Berkeley, Calif.) and Tennessee and Duke (Memphis, Tenn.) and a loss to Oklahoma (Kansas City, Mo.).
In NCAA Tournament play this season, Brittney Griner leads the Lady Bears with 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 blocks per game. She is followed by Melissa Jones' 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and Kelli Griffin's 8.5 points, 6.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds contest. Morghan Medlock manages 7.8 points and a team-leading 9.8 rebounds.
Griner's 35 blocks in the NCAA Tournament through four games breaks Duke's Alison Bales record of 30 over six games in 2006.
Griner's 218 season blocks rank No. 6 on the Big 12 Conference's career block shot chart.
After its victories over No. 3 Tennessee (77-62) and No. 6 Duke (51-48), Baylor is now 3-1 versus top 10 teams this season and will face another top 10 foe, No. 1 Connecticut, on Sunday. BU also owns a win over No. 8 Texas A&M (61-53) and a season-opening loss at Tennessee (74-65).
With its win over top-seeded Tennessee on Saturday, BU has now posted four victories over No. 1 seeds. In 2005, the year Lady Bears captured the NCAA national championship, they downed top-seeds North Carolina, LSU and Michigan State.
This will be the first meeting between Baylor and Connecticut.
As a team, Baylor ranks No. 1 nationally in blocks per game (7.6); No. 2 in field goal percentage defense (32.9); No. 10 in field goal percentage (.460); No. 11 in rebound margin (+7.7) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (27.4); No. 13 in scoring margin (14.9); No. 22 in scoring defense (56.0) and No. 41 in scoring offense (70.9).
BU's five freshmen, Brittney Griner, Shanay Washington, Kimetria Hayden, Jordan Madden and Mariah Chandler, are gaining valuable minutes this season and producing points. On the season, BU's rookies account for 42.0 percent (2036-7225) of the minutes played and 51.4 percent (1311-2553) of the team's points.
In 10 seasons under head coach Kim Mulkey, Baylor is 264-75 (.779), which ranks her No. 4 nationally in winning percentage. In addition, the Lady Bear program ranks No. 6 among the NCAA Division I's winningest teams over that span.
The Lady Bears remain the Big 12 leader in field goal percentage defense (.329), rebounding offense (43.0), blocked shots (7.6) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.274) and are No. 2 in field goal percentage (.460), scoring defense (56.0), and assists (14.8).
Baylor averages 76.6 points and allows 52.3 in its 27 wins on the year, but in its nine losses is scoring just 56.8 ppg and yielding 67.6 ppg. In its losses, BU is 19-of-105 (.181) from 3-point range, compared to 64-of-188 (.340) in its wins.
Junior point guard Kelli Griffin ranks No. 3 in the Big 12 Conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.0 and No. 4 in assists (5.2). She has doled out 186 assists and turned the ball over only 92 times this season. Over the past 10 games, Griffin has dished out 92 assists while committing only 41 turnovers for an impressive 2.2 ratio.
Griffin now ranks No. 8 on Baylor's career assist chart with 361 and No. 2 on BU's single-season assist list with 186.
Griner became just the seventh female to dunk in a regular-season NCAA contest when she threw one down against Jacksonville State, Nov. 24. Griner added two more dunks to her total against Texas State (Jan. 2) and registered another at Kansas State (Feb. 3). She is also a defensive threat as a shot blocker and alterer with her 88" wing span. She has blocked a school, Big 12 and NCAA Division I record 218 shots and altered 101 more.
Kim Mulkey IN NCAA FINAL FOURS
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey is participating in her 12th NCAA Women's Final Four. She made three trips as a player (1982, `83, `84), five as an assistant coach (`87, `88, `89, `90, `94) and two as an associate head coach (`98, `99) at Louisiana Tech and two as a head coach (2005, `10) at Baylor. She has three NCAA titles to her credit (1982, `88, 2005). In addition, she won an AIAW national championship as a player in 1981.
Current Baylor assistant coach Leon Barmore is participating in his 11th NCAA Women's Final Four, two as an assistant coach, two as an associate head coach and seven as a head coach. All but this season's trip as an assistant coach with BU came while he was at Louisiana Tech.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Connecticut, 37-0, and ranked No. 1 in both major polls the entire season, is making its 11th Final Four appearance, all under head coach Geno Auriemma. The Huskies are riding a record 76-game win streak and advanced to the Final Four with a 90-50 victory over Florida State in the Dayton Regional.
Baylor is 2-5 against the four BU-UConn common opponents this season while UConn is 4-0 versus those schools. Baylor lost two to both Texas and Oklahoma, one against Iowa State and defeated Duke and Oklahoma once while the Huskies defeated all four schools.
GRINER NAMED AP ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM
Brittney Griner was selected a second-team All-America by The Associated Press on Tuesday, becoming the first Lady Bear to earn the honor as a freshman.
Griner joins six other Lady Bears who previously were named AP All-America seven times: 2002 - Danielle Crockrom (HM), 2005 - Sophia Young (2nd team), Steffanie Blackmon (3rd team), 2006 - Sophia Young (1st team), 2007 - Bernice Mosby (HM), 2008 - Rachel Allison (HM), Angela Tisdale (HM).