March 20, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Sophia Young scored 21 points and third-seeded Baylor beat No. 11 seed New Mexico 87-67 Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The defending NCAA champion Lady Bears (26-6) advanced to Saturday's semifinals of the Albuquerque Regional. They will play the winner of Tuesday's second-round game between second-seeded Maryland and No. 7 seed St. John's in University Park, Pa.
Sophomore forward Dionne Marsh led the Lobos (22-10) with 25 points.
Baylor's eighth straight NCAA tourney victory was convincing, but it wasn't easy.
Midway through the first half, New Mexico opened up a 27-20 lead with a 10-3 run capped by a 3-pointer by Marsh, who buried a wide-open shot from the top of the key after Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson told one of her players to "get off her."
The Lady Bears responded quickly. They reeled off 19 of the next 23 points, including 13 in a row, to take a 39-31 lead with 2:04 to play in the first half. Baylor dominated the backboards, with one basket by Jhasmin Player coming on the third offensive rebound of one possession.
At halftime, Young had five offensive rebounds. New Mexico had four. Baylor's strength on the boards translated into a 9-3 halftime edge in second-chance points and a 44-38 lead at the break.
Two days after New Mexico senior center Jana Francis scored a career-high 25 points, the Lady Bears limited her to one field goal in the first half. She finished with two points on 1-of-5 shooting in her final career game.
Baylor opened the second half with a 9-2 run to take its biggest lead, 53-40.
Young, the Big 12 Conference player of the year, scored 15 in the second half for Baylor, which won for the ninth time in 10 games.
The Lobos trailed 60-47 with 10:38 to go when Mulkey-Robertson was whistled for a technical foul for arguing a foul call on Baylor guard Jessica Morrow.
That's when Young went to work. She scored, drew a foul and hit the free throw to give Baylor a 68-60 lead. She added another three-point play less than a minute later.
Young's personal 6-0 run pushed Baylor's lead back to 71-60.