Dallas, TX -- The Baylor Lady Bears took on the Florida State Seminoles in the Dallas Regional at the American Airlines Center on Saturday. Both teams came off of decisive second round wins advancing them to the Sweet Sixteen. Baylor, the first seed and Big 12 Conference Champs is at 35-1 on the season, and Florida State, the fifth seed is at 25-7 on the season.
Baylor started out strong with a significant fan base behind them in Dallas. The Seminoles forced several crucial turnovers in the first period allowing them to tie up the game, and take over the lead halfway through the period.
The Lady Bears didn't sit down for long, forcing a crucial turnover that led them to take back the lead - and keeping it. Baylor ended the period on a high note, sinking a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 24-15.
The Lady Bears pulled further ahead in the top of the second period, taking a 12-point lead three minutes into the quarter. Florida State struggled to put a halt to Baylor's consistent and aggressive offense, allowing them to keep a steady 10-point lead most of the period. The Lady Bears continued to handle the game through the end of the half, finishing on top 40-24.
Baylor forward Alexis Jones and guard Nina Davis put up major points for the Lady Bears in the half, scoring 11 and 10 respectively. Baylor kept their field goal percentage steady throughout the half, sinking over 50 percent, over double compared to the Seminoles 25 percent.
"I owe all the credit to my teammates when I'm hot they do a good job with passing the ball and putting me into position to score," Davis said of her performance following the game.
Florida State guard Leticia Romero helped shrink the Lady Bears lead at the start of the third quarter, contributing eight points in the first six minutes, cutting Baylor's lead to eight. Despite the minor surge, the Lady Bears offense was hard to tame. Davis contributed 11 points in the third period alone to keep the lead out of reach for the Seminoles. Baylor ended the period on top, 58-44.
The Lady Bears extended their defiant lead 20 in the first portion of the last quarter. Davis continued to dominate for Baylor, ending the game with 30 points. Florida State starters center Adut Bulgak and forward Ivey Slaughter both fouled out, setting the Seminoles at a major disadvantage for the remainder of the game.
"We had to make some substitutions, and we did not do a good job of adjusting, and that's something I don't really expect them to understand," Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau said following the loss.
The Lady Bears took a 24-point lead late in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach for Florida State. Baylor ended the game with a 20- point victory, 78-58.
"I think the motivation is we have been here, done that, we want to go to the Final Four for those three seniors. Certainly you try any and everything you can," Lady Bears Head Coach Kim Mulkey said following the win. "But we're just playing really focused right now. I thought, and I said this when I saw Florida State was in our bracket they're not a 5-seed.
"I mean, I watched some 3-seeds today that Florida State is much better than."
Baylor will play the winner of DePaul vs. Oregon State in the Dallas Regional Final on Monday.