Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Advances to First Ever Final Four

March 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

After their unlikely 58-46 win over top seeded Baylor in the NCAAW Dallas Regional Tuesday night, the Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Team advances to their very first Final Four in school history.

Coming into the game A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight to Baylor (34-3), including three this season.

This time, the Aggies jumped out with a 7-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game and never looked back. They led the entire game holding a 16-point lead at one time, and made key plays to finish strong.

Sydney Carter was the leading performer for A&M with 22 points and 6 rebounds.

Baylor’s All-American Brittney Griner, although the top scorer for her team, only scored 20 points after coming off of a 40-point game Sunday against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Griner’s shooting game struggled, with only 6 of 18 shots from the field connecting. She was also just 8 of 15 in free throws after making all 10 attempts on Sunday.

When the Lady Bears closed the gap to 48-41 with 4.5 minutes to go after two of Griner’s successful free throw attempts, A&M’s Sydney Colson became a pivotal player.

Colson scored the next five points for the Aggies, all in free throws. After being fouled on a shot and making both free throws, she stole the ball back only to be fouled again while driving the ball for a layup. Her five-in-a-row connections bumped her team’s lead back up to 53-41 before their final victory.

Aggie Tyra White scored 10 points and had 8 rebounds. Her teammate Adaora Elonu had 8 points and 10 rebounds.

The All-American post player and overall top scorer for the Aggies, Danielle Adams, had a less than average shooting game against Baylor. She completed the game with only six points. Connecting with 3 of 12 from the field and missing all five of her three pointers, the senior’s defensive game was her stronger suit this time around.

She was a lockdown defender on Griner, moving her into bad shots off the block and shutting Griner down more than she was previously used to.

Senior Lady Bear Melissa Jones scored 13 points and made 7 rebounds.

In an Associated Press article, Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair said, “This was a very special game. We didn’t ask to play Baylor, we asked to be recognized for what we accomplished during the year. They chose to put us in the same region. … Both of us could have been in the Final Four, both of us should have been in the Final Four.”

The Aggies next face Stanford, another number one seed, in the national semifinals.

No. 33 SMU Women’s Tennis Falls Short Against No. 9 Baylor, 4-3

March 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

Wednesday the No. 33 SMU Women’s Tennis Team battled it out against No. 9 Baylor University but ultimately suffered a defeat of 4-3. The match puts the Mustangs at 12-4 this spring while the Bears are now 12-3.

SMU made the first strike against their opponent by winning an intense fight for the doubles point.

To start off, Shahzoda Hatamova and Kris Roberts gave it their all but were brought down by Baylor’s Taylor Ormond and Karolina Filipiak 8-5 at the No. 3 line.

Then the No. 2 spot, Mustangs Edyta Cieplucha and Heather Steinbauer answered back with an 8-6 win over Diana Nakic and Sona Navakova.

No. 1 position duo Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova confirmed the winning point for the ‘Stangs with a fierce 9-7 finish against Jelena Stanivuk and Nina Secerbegovic.

The Bears were quick to put their own points up once singles play began, winning the first four matches and securing the win.

At the No. 6 line, Ormond took out Roberts with back to back 6-1 match scores. The Bears then gained the lead with Nakic downing Steinbauer at No. 3 with 6-3, 6-0 wins.

To further Baylor’s lead, Secerbegovic defeated Cieplucha with two 6-3 victories at No. 2.

The final point needed to clinch the win for the Bears came down to the No. 5 line, with Filipak achieving success against Hatamova 6-4, 6-2.

SMU gained their two singles points in final two matches, which were still carried out although the final win was decided.

Both the matches of Malyarchikova and Lesniak came down to super-tiebreakers. At the No. 4 spot, Malyarchikova won the first set 6-4, but lost to Stanivuk 6-1 in the second set. During the breaker, Malyarchikova turned on her afterburners to pull out a 10-7 win and a point for her team.

Lesniak, No. 9 in the nation, played a close game with Baylor’s No. 11 nationally ranked Novakova. Lesniak claimed the first set with a 6-4 finish, while Novakova grasped the second, 6-3. The suspenseful tiebreaker had Lesniak fighting off multiple match points, but ended with Lesniak coming out on top with a 14-12 victory.

The SMU women’s tennis team hits the court again Saturday, March 26 when they host UC Santa Barbara at the Turpin Tennis Center. Play begins at noon.

For more information, visit www.smumustangs.com.