Baylor upends Texas in Waco
WACO, Texas (AP) -- Sophia Young had 25 points and 15 rebounds to send No. 3 Baylor to a 63-60 win over No. 7 Texas on Saturday, the latest step in the Bears' amazing five-year run from Big 12 doormat to national title contender.
Young and frontcourt teammate Steffanie Blackmon were the difference in every phase of the game for Baylor (12-1).
Blackmon had 19 points and six rebounds, and the duo effectively shut down the Longhorns' top player, sophomore center Tiffany Jackson, who finished with nine points. Jackson shot just 3-of-13 and didn't have a field goal after Texas' first possession of the second half.
Nina Norman led Texas (8-4) with 16 points.
The largest crowd to watch a Lady Bears' game (10,322) showed up for the matchup between two Big 12 powers and witnessed the biggest win of coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson's tenure in Waco.
In five seasons, Mulkey-Robertson has taken a program that was among the worst in the Big 12 to one edging ever closer to being ranked No. 1. The Bears have won 12 straight after opening the season with a one-point loss to No. 1 LSU.
Young had eight points in a 3-minute span of the second half to forge a tie at 58, and Abiola Wabara's free throw gave the Bears the lead at 59-58.
Baylor, which feasted on offensive rebounding for 23 second-chance points, had none bigger than Chameka Scott's putback of her own miss that pushed the lead to 61-58 before Texas cut it back to one behind Jamie Carey's free throws.
Baylor then committed two straight turnovers and gave Texas a chance to win. But Carey missed an open shot on the baseline and Jackson, swarmed by three defenders in the lane, turned the ball over on Texas' next possession and fouled Young.
A 61-percent free throw shooter this season, Young swished both of her shots with 20 seconds left for the final margin.
Texas tried to set up a last-second 3-pointer to tie but Carey had to track down a wild pass before launching a wild 25-footer that bounced off the rim.
COACH AND PLAYER POSTGAME QUOTES
Baylor has inside players who are very, very good. It was hard all game long to defend them. Sophia (Young) is a handful - she is so very quick. Think about how hard they are to guard every time down the floor. Sophia is relentless on the boards. I don't know many players who can jump and rebound like her.
On the other end of the floor, we were just bottled up all game long. It came down to guard play on our end and post player on their end. Right now, Baylor is playing better than we are playing. They showed why they are a team which can compete with anyone. I greatly respect the job that Kim (Mulkey-Robertson has done). Her team's personality resembles Kim's when she played - they play with fight and fire."
On Texas' last possession, when a three-pointer attempt from the wing by Jamie Carey hit the front rim with one second remaining...
On re-grouping and preparing for the upcoming schedule this week (at No. 12 Texas Tech, vs. Oklahoma State at home, at No. 14 Connecticut, and then vs. Baylor at home)...
"The most important thing right now in this league is to maintain consistency. You cannot get too high, and you cannot get too low. Everyone has to go through the Lady Raiders and Lady Bears - we just have to do it twice in the Southern Division of the Big 12! And, we'll be facing Baylor twice in two weeks. Oh, and let's throw going to UConn next Monday in there just for fun."
On Texas being out-rebounded and losing the scoring battle in the paint and in second-chance points...
"There is never a time when I've given a pre-game, or halftime talk, or during a timeout, that I have not talked about controlling the boards and about second-chance opportunities. That is usually where games are won and lost, and especially when you have two top 10 teams like we had out there today going against each other.
From our standpoint, we've got to rebound better. Play defense each time down the court. Be more relentless. Call more timeouts when we have the ball and are falling out of bounds - things like that are disappointing and shouldn't be happening."
Texas senior G Jamie Carey
We knew what to expect from the Baylor defense inside. We know how quick they are. They scouted us well. They knew the strengths of Tiffany (Jackson), Heather (Schreiber) and Annissa (Hastings) and they keyed on them. Give them credit. It was tough to get the ball inside all game long."
Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson
They (Texas) are still the team to beat. They were picked unanimously by all of us in the league to win the league. This is just one game. We certainly like the fact that we won, but Texas has been to the Final Four and we haven't. Six seniors on that Texas team have been to the Final Four. What we have done is put together a team that can compete with them."