"As ugly and as sloppy as we were out there, we still won by (27)," said Kim Mulkey after the No. 6 Lady Bears pounded the Florida Gators 89-62 in front of 6,462 fans at the Ferrell Center. "As I told them in the locker room: 'With greatness comes higher expectations. And with higher expectations come a lot of grief.' And they're going to get a lot of grief from me, as well as pats on the back. There was just a lot of sloppiness to the game. But if you step back as a coach, it's a win."
Junior Sophia Young and Senior Steffanie Blackmon both posted double-doubles while combing for 29 points and 24 rebounds. Sophomore Emily Niemann added 13 points while shooting 3-for-5 from behind the arc.
"I think this was set up to be a great game for women's basketball," said Florida coach Carolyn Peck. "You had four premium post players. It would have been tremendous to see that battle going on. But it didn't get to happen. Young and Blackmon got to do their thing, and Brittany (Davis) got to do hers. But I don't think Bernice got that opportunity because of the fouls."
Former Florida post Bernice Mosby was hampered by two early fouls and missed much of the first half, allowing Baylor to take an early 21-6 advantage. Mosby would finish with eight points and seven rebounds. Brittany Davis led the Gators with 16 points and six rebounds, and was able to pull within four points at 27-23 with 6:30 left. But Baylor was able to regroup behind five straight points from Young and finished the half at 45-33.
"Baylor's ranked sixth in the country for a reason," said Florida coach Carolyn Peck, whose team had a six-game winning streak snapped. "They're a very good ball club, especially players like Young and Blackmon and Niemann. And you can go down the list. They have a great supporting cast."
Senior Chelsea Whitaker led the Lady Bears with seven assists and Sophomores LaToya Wyatt and Abiola Wabara added a solid 11 and 12 points respectively.
The Florida victory was Baylor's ninth in a row, and an important milestone in the 2004-2005 campaign. By the end of the season, Baylor would be national champions and Bernice Mosby would be a Lady Bear.