Monday, 23 July, 2018

Alexis Jones ready for Lady Bears' tournament run

Kristopher Love | 20 March, 2017, 02:31

The Lady Bears are held to different standard under head coach Kim Mulkey. The Jayhawks are coming off a Big 12 Tournament Quaterfinals loss, but they were missing one of their best players, Josh Jackson. Baylor switches between playing zone and man-to-man depending on the opponent.

On paper, the Bears, hailing from the Big 12, are the bigger team. The Lady Vols didn't win a game in the SEC Tournament for the first time in 24 years after losing to Alabama.

The Aggies go into the postseason with a program-record 28 wins.

When mid-majors usually pull off upsets, it's because they have got hot from beyond the arc and hit the 3-pointer.

The Cowboys never led again, though they closed to within two twice in the final 8 seconds. The Lady Bears (30-3) will face 16-seeded Texas Southern in Waco on Saturday in the opening round.

"We have to use our speed", NMSU coach Paul Weir said Monday.

The issue here is Baylor is a very good 3-point defending team, especially with its length.

The story ended quickly, though, with No. 14-seed Georgia State capping a miracle season with a 57-56 upset of the Bears in the round-of-64 behind a game-winning shot from coach's son R.J. Hunter. Motley didn't play the final nine minutes of the first half after getting his second offensive foul. Braxton Huggins and Eli Chuha were also named to the all-tournament team after posting 13.3 points per game and 12.3 points per game, respectively. Yale found ways to score last season, scoring 79 points and shooting 53.1 percent from the floor.

Maybe we'll see some Madness today.

The Aggies were able to do this in last Saturday's win, controlling the tempo against a Bakersfield team that likes to slow things down.

When the men's basketball team made the NCAA tournament for the first time under head coach Scott Drew in 2008, they were a No. 11 seed and fell in the first round to Purdue. But the Bears were confident they could take command in the second half by ratcheting up the defensive intensity that would lead to more transition baskets.

Motley said the previous losses served as motivation. "And then you grab it with two hands, and you come down with it and that's considered a rebound". The problem: MI went 11 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half. Baylor has won 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament games at home by an average margin of 29.4 points.

Mark Rudi can be reached at 575-541-5455, or on Twitter @mrudi19. Guards Braxton Huggins and Ian Baker scored 19 points apiece for New Mexico State, but it wasn't almost enough once Baylor starters found their groove in the second half after Freeman and Maston set the stage. Tickets are priced at $100 per ticket while Aggie Athletic Club members and season ticket get priority seating.

Tickets: NMSU's allotment of tickets are on sale at the Pan American Center Box Office or by calling 575-646-1420.