OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Sunday’s game was the final game for Baylor seniors Nina Davis, Alexis Prince, Alexis Jones and Khadijiah Cave.
While Mulkey is sorry she couldn’t get that group to a Final Four, she’s confident that their accomplishments while at Baylor speak for themselves.
And they do – four Big 12 regular season titles, three Big 12 tournament titles and four Elite Eights to go along with an overall record of 134-15.
“Those kids are all graduates, or are getting ready to graduate in May,” Mulkey said. “You have just four outstanding players, All-Americans, All-Conference. Good students. Their legacy is what it is. They’ve kept us at an elite level. I just hate for them, because they really are Final Four type of kids. This was a Final Four type of team. We just didn’t get it done today.”
Only two women’s basketball programs across the country have advanced to four-straight Elite Eights: Connecticut and Baylor.
“At Baylor, we have expectations that are higher than an Elite Eight, whether that’s egotistical, fair, it is what it is,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “We have to keep feeding that monster we started 17 years ago.”
Nina Davis and Kalani Brown were named to the NCAA Oklahoma City All-Region team for Baylor.
Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians were also on the team, as well as Washington’s Kelsey Plum.
Morgan William was named the region’s most outstanding player.
“Just confidence,” William said. “I mean, I came out here early to shoot because I had issues the last couple of games. I was feeling it. Coach let me make them. It opened up shots for my teammates, too. When I was open, I knew I could knock down the shot. That really helped us from the inside-out.”
Brown is a first time honoree, while Davis picked up the third of her career (2015, 2016).
Baylor finished the game shooting 53.3 percent from the floor as three Lady Bears finished in double figures.
Kalani Brown had 27, while Nina Davis and Alexis Jones had 18 and 16 respectively.
It marked Brown’s eighth 20-point performance of the season and ninth of her career.
Baylor fought back from a three-point halftime deficit in the third quarter.
The Lady Bears held the Bulldogs to 35 percent shooting in the frame, the lowest percentage for Mississippi State of the night.
Meanwhile, Baylor went off for 66.7 percent from the floor with a 3-pointer by Jones in transition off a block by Prince.
The Lady Bears made five consecutive field goals to close the third quarter to reclaim a 61-60 lead.
Mississippi State scorers
The Bulldogs finished shooting 43.2 percent on the night led by William’s 41 points.
That marked a career high for the junior as she went 13-for-22 from the floor.
Victoria Vivians added 24 points, six boards, six assists and two steals, while Teaira McCowan had 10 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block.