Texas A&M one victory from first Big 12 title

WACO, Texas -- Gary Blair still believes his team is an underdog in the powerful Big 12 Conference.

But the Texas A&M head coach will have a hard time convincing the Baylor Lady Bears of that.

Danielle Gant and Takia Starks scored 32 of their team's 35 second-half points, and Texas A&M (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) is one win away from its first-ever Big 12 title after beating No. 14 Baylor 63-58 on Sunday.

Texas A&M (22-5, 12-3 Big 12) has beaten Baylor twice this season and can capture the conference title with a win Wednesday against rival Texas. The Aggies can also clinch if No. 13 Oklahoma (22-4, 12-3) loses Wednesday against Baylor.

"We're like the little team that could," said Blair, whose team has also topped Oklahoma twice this season. "We've got a lot of weaknesses -- including the head coach."

Gant hit all seven of her field goal attempts and scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half.

Starks, Texas A&M's leading scorer at 14 points per game, scored all 14 of her points after halftime. She didn't score until hitting a 15-foot jumper with 12:44 left.

Gant, a 5-foot-10 forward, did most of her scoring inside against the taller Baylor front line.

"Coach told us at halftime our post players were scared," Gant said. "I came out in the second half to show him I was not."

Baylor (24-5, 11-4) only had one field goal in the final 8:09.

The Lady Bears shot 20 percent (6-of-30) in the second half and missed all 12 3-pointers it attempted. The Lady Bears stayed close by hitting all 16 of their free throw attempts.

Bernice Mosby scored 24 points for Baylor. She had 18 in the first half on 8-of-11 shooting, but she struggled to get open looks in the second half and missed five of six shots.

"In the first half they didn't trap me," Mosby said. "At halftime they made an adjustment to cover down on me. It was kind of physical in there. I didn't want to force anything by shooting when I could hardly get open."

Starks hit a jumper with 5:40 left that gave the Aggies the lead for good at 55-54. Two possessions later, she nailed a 15-footer to put Texas A&M ahead by three points.

Baylor got within 57-56 on Danielle Wilson's layup with 3:34 left. But Gant hit two consecutive short jumpers -- the last of which put Texas A&M ahead 61-56 with 1:48 remaining.

The Lady Bears then got a pair of free throws from Angela Tisdale and forced the Aggies into a shot clock violation. That gave Baylor a chance to tie the game in the final minute.

But Starks stole a pass from Mosby and drove for an uncontested layup that gave Texas A&M a 63-58 lead with 30.5 seconds remaining.

"To come on the road and get a win like this, I'm kind of speechless" Starks said.

Baylor led 32-28 at halftime, but the lead was quickly gone as Gant began her run with consecutive three-point plays in the first minute of the second half.

"Gant is tough," Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. "You can write that in capital letters. When you're a 5-10 post player, you're not soft."

Texas A&M led 13-4 in the game's first five minutes thanks to an early 10-0 flurry. But Mosby scored seven points in a 15-2 run that put Baylor ahead 19-15 midway through the opening half.