KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Chelsea Whitaker made sure a broken play
wouldn't stop Baylor from reaching the final of the Big 12
Whitaker carved through the lane and hit a layup with 2.1
seconds remaining Thursday to lift sixth-ranked Baylor over No. 14
Texas Tech 58-57 in a tournament semifinal game.
"If we don't know what's going on," Whitaker said, "then they
don't know what's going on."
After Alesha Robertson gave the Lady Raiders a 57-53 lead with
just over a minute to go, Steffanie Blackmon hit a foul shot and
then made a put-back to draw within 57-56 with 16.5 seconds
A foul sent Tech's Darrice Griffin to the free-throw line, but
she missed the front end of a one-and-one and Baylor got the
rebound. After calling a timeout, Whitaker got the inbounds pass
and slashed through an open lane for the game-winner.
"They talked me out of what I wanted to run," said Baylor
coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson. "I believe they had a feel for the
game and I'm not above having my mind changed."
Top-seeded Baylor now awaits either Kansas State or Texas in
Saturday night's championship game.
"We refused to lose. When you play someone three times like
this, there's not a lot of secrets," Mulkey-Robertson said.
Sophia Young had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead Baylor
(26-3), which has won all three meetings against Tech this season.
Blackmon added 15 points and Whitaker finished with 12.
"Baylor's a great basketball team. They're one of the top two
or three in the country," Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp said.
LaToya Davis scored 18 points for the Lady Raiders (22-7), who
have been bounced from the Big 12 tournament by Baylor three of the
last four years. Griffin added 11 points and Chesley Dabbs 10.
"I believe you put yourself in position to let good things
happen to you," Mulkey-Robertson said. "There wasn't anything
that Tech did or we did that was different than you've seen all
Cisti Greenwalt, Texas Tech's leading scorer, picked up her
third personal foul midway through the first half and never got out
of foul trouble, finishing with just three points.
"When we had Greenwalt in foul trouble, we got a little bit
small on the blocks," Sharp said. "They did a better job of
taking away our inside game, forcing us to try to be on the
perimeter. We missed a couple of good-looking jumpers that would
have given us a chance to win."
Davis tried to pick up the slack inside, scoring 10 of the Lady
Raiders' final 12 points in the first half, including a put-back
with 2 seconds to go that gave them a 33-30 lead at the break.
Texas Tech led by as many as eight with under five minutes to go
before Mulkey-Robertson called a timeout and challenged her team.
"If you think the game is over then tell me and I'll put
players out there who don't," she said. "I never sensed that
anybody was aggravated or frustrated."
The Lady Bears responded with a 9-2 run the rest of the way.
"Coach told us to sit down if we thought it was over," Young
said. "I stood right back up."