Davis leads No. 4 Baylor past No. 7 Texas for Big 12 title
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Baylor Lady Bears wish they didn't have to wait so long after their Big 12 tournament title to start playing again.
Nina Davis scored 22 points to help No. 4 Baylor beat No. 7 Texas 79-63 Monday night in the championship game for their 20th straight win. The Lady Bears await the selection show next Monday, then they won't play again until later in the week.
''Honestly, we've been playing pretty good, and I wish we could just keep playing,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''You hate to stop and take a break, for fear that you can't get back to where you just finished these last two or three weeks, because we've really played good basketball.''
Alexis Jones scored 16 points for the Lady Bears. She was named the tournament's most outstanding player after averaging 15.7 points and 7.7 assists in three games. Beatrice Mompremier scored 15 points and Niya Johnson added 11 for Baylor (33-1), which swept the conference's regular-season and tournament titles for the sixth consecutive year.
Baylor won all three games against the Longhorns this season. Texas' loss to Baylor last week in the regular-season finale cost the Longhorns a share of the regular-season conference championship. Texas coach Karen Aston said she felt the Longhorns played better than in the recent 74-48 loss.
''I had hoped that we would be more competitive on every possession in this game, and I thought that we were for a longer period of time,'' she said. ''But they were the better team tonight.''
Lashann Higgs scored 15 points and Imani Boyette added nine points and 11 rebounds for Texas (28-4), which was seeking its first tournament title since 2003.
Texas hung tough early, but Baylor began creating a cushion late in the second quarter. Jones' 3-pointer as the shot clock expired in the final minute of the first half gave the Lady Bears a 36-25 lead at the break.
Davis, who had been relatively quiet the first two games, had 12 points in the first half. The Lady Bears held Texas to 37.5 percent shooting before the break.
Baylor pulled away in the third quarter by making 9 of 14 shots. Davis scored eight points in the period, and the Lady Bears took a 60-43 edge into the fourth quarter.
Now, the Bears take a high level of confidence into the NCAA Tournament.
''Around this time, the pieces should be coming together,'' Davis said. ''The team as a whole, I feel like we're all coming together as a team, and what better way to end this next chapter than to end with a win in the championship?''
Texas' Kelsey Lang on Baylor: ''That team is just a Final Four team who knows how to take advantage of your weaknesses, and that's what they did to us.''
The members of the All-Tournament team were Baylor's Davis, Jones and Niya Johnson and Texas' Brooke McCarty and Celina Rodrigo.
Texas' bench outscored Baylor's 35-8, but Baylor's starters outscored Texas' 71-28.
Texas: Rodrigo, a senior, had scored in single digits for 21 straight games before scoring a season-high 13 in the quarterfinals against Kansas, then 12 in the semifinals against West Virginia. She had only scored in double figures seven times in her career before those two games. She finished with just two points in the final. ... Starters shot 6 for 21 in the first half. ... Committed nine turnovers before halftime. ... Made 1 of 8 3-pointers.
Baylor: Jumped out to a 6-0 lead as Texas went scoreless for the first 2:23. ... Shot 48.4 percent in the first half. ... Johnson, the nation's leader in assists, had two assists and five turnovers, but had seven rebounds.
Texas: NCAA Tournament.
Baylor: NCAA Tournament.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .