Mulkey, Lady Bears Go Dancing Again

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: March 17, 2009

HOUSTON — Baylor senior guard Jhasmin Player scored 25 points to lead the No. 5 ranked Lady Bears to a Big 12 Conference Championship, with a 72-63 victory over the No. 10 ranked Texas A&M in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Player scored a season-high 25 points and Morghan Medlock came off the bench to add 15 and Jessica Morrow added 12.

“I had some sleepless nights when we lost here last year,” Player said. “I packed for three days, and I wanted to be here three days.”

Despite losing leading scorer Danielle Wilson to a season-ending knee injury in the final week of the regular season, the Bears (27-5) found a new way to win and claimed their second Big 12 title.

“Danielle Wilson is good and a big loss for us, but our scoring, our rebounding, it’s distributed throughout the lineup,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “I think you now see we’re not going away.”

Player scored 19 of her points in the second half and led the way after Texas A&M (25-7) chipped away at a nine-point deficit. The Aggies came within two at 60-58 on a Takia Starks jumper with 4:46 remaining. Player followed Morrow’s two free throws with a three-point play to keep A&M at a distance.

“I am so excited for our seniors on this squad to go out in this manner,” Coach Mulkey said. “If we’re the No. 1 RPI conference in America, then why can’t we have two No. 1 seeds?, Mulkey stated. “I certainly will be disappointed if another conference has two No. 1 seeds.”

The Lady Bears will begin tournament play as the second seed in the women’s Raleigh regional. They will meet 16th-seeded Texas-San Antonio (24-8) in Lubbock, Texas Sunday at 9:20 p.m. ET.

The contest is slated to be shown on ESPN2.