Baylor looking for its sixth Sweet 16 while West Virginia looks for its first under Mike Carey

2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship (Second Round)

  • #1 Baylor (32-2) vs. #9 West Virginia (24-9)
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 8:45 p.m. CDT, Ferrell Center
  • TV: ESPN2/, Pam Ward (pxp), Stephanie White (analyst)
  • Audio/live stats: ||
  • Radio: 92.9 FM Rick May (pxp), Lori Fogleman (color)

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey and West Virginia coach Mike Carey have never coached against each other. Before Mulkey came to Baylor, West Virginia beat the Lady Bears on Dec. 7, 1984 (73-67) in the Lady Rebel Dial Classic at Oxford, Mississippi, the only time the two teams have ever met.

Baylor is looking to earn its sixth Sweet 16 appearance in program history while West Virginia wants to advance past the second round for the first time under coach Carey. Last year, they were knocked out of the tournament in the second round by San Diego State in the Austin, Texas subregional.

The Mountaineers’ scoring leader is senior guard Liz Repella with 14.3 point per game. She is followed by senior forward Madina Ali at 12.7 points. Ali leads the team in rebounding with 7.3 a contest while Repella follows closely with 5.6 an outing.

Baylor is led in scoring by sophomore center Brittney Griner 22.6 ppg, followed by freshman Odyssey Sims’ 13.5 ppg. In rebounding, Griner averages 7.8 per outing followed by Melissa Jones and Destiny Williams who both pull down seven rebounds per game. Griner also averages 4.48 blocks per game.

Carey’s take on winning against Baylor is to contain other players besides center Brittney Griner.

“From all the film I have watched, all of the other players have wide open shots,” said Carey. “The reason they have wide open shots is because they are all sagging in on Griner. It’s a little bit easier to shoot wide open shots than it is with someone in your face. We’re going to give them that opportunity. We’re not going to sag as much. We’re going to make the other players earn their points. I think if Griner gets her 25 (points) then we will get our 26. (Baylor) is a great team, but we are as well. We can’t change everything we do just because of them.”

Mulkey is impressed with West Virginia’s defense.

“We see that against Texas A&M in our league,” she said. “We see that on film for West Virginia. The first thing that I acknowledged was that we were going to see a very well coached defensive team. Their defense really stood out to me in that they are very aggressive and very big. They are big in the paint, they’re big on the wings. I looked at some stats in the Big East where they were ranked on defense, and I could just tell by watching them on film and then watching them last night that defense is very important to their basketball team, and I love that. So many times you see great teams and then they don’t play a lick of defense. I really respect whoever is in charge of it because it really stands out.”

Mulkey on WVU’s Liz Repella

“I thought she was a spark for them by hitting big shots. When Houston made their run last night, Houston lost her. She made a couple of big shots. You expect players on that team to make plays. If you look at their roster, they have five or six seniors on that team and two of them are redshirt seniors. They are a senior team and that jumps out at you and that concerns you. Not only do they play in a great conference but they are a lot older than we are. They are older in a lot of positions that they rely on heavily.”

Mulkey on WVU’s Sarah Miles

“I saw more of her on film than I did against Houston yesterday on what her capabilities are. Like all great teams, it starts with the one who has the ball in her hands, and she is no different. She runs their show. Of course you talk about Repella a lot, but Repella can only do what the point guard allows her to do. Because of the abilities of the point guard, she really controls the tempo of that team. She makes those around her better.”

“I didn’t see anything different than what I have seen all year. She played really good on-ball defense last night. I just didn’t see anything any different. She missed some shots in the paint area and she quit taking some shots, but Odyssey was the same Odyssey that we have seen all year.”

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