Dec. 9, 2009
WACO, Texas -- Perhaps it was the wrong day to talk with Kim Mulkey about Melissa Jones.
Baylor had just finished a 77-67 win at home against Louisiana Tech, but the coach was visibly frustrated by the sloppy effort from her team -- particularly on the part of Jones and her other veterans. The Lady Bears allowed a Louisiana Tech team beaten on talent but not effort to cut away at what had been a 24-point lead in the first half. If not for superb showings by the freshman class, including 22 points, eight rebounds and six blocks from Brittney Griner, the final minutes might have been even more tense than they turned out to be.
So despite an absence of visible steam around her ears, Mulkey simmered afterward, the look in her eyes and the snap in her answers seemingly capable of doing far more harm than even the sharp heels of her shoes.
Ranked No. 6 in the nation, Baylor improved to 7-1 with Saturday's victory against the Lady Techsters. But coming on the heels of six consecutive wins by at least 20 points, the performance left the coach unsure her team was ready for either this coming weekend's trip to Madison Square Garden to face Boston College or a subsequent trip to Las Vegas for games against postseason hopefuls Gonzaga and Arizona State.
"We probably couldn't lift our feet to get on the plane, we looked so tired at the end of the game," Mulkey said. "So we better take a couple of days off and regroup, see if I'm not running them enough in practice. I just thought fatigue set in the last 10 or 11 minutes. I'm not used to coaching a team that has that many turnovers from returning players."
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