Baylor-Kentucky instant classic for women's game

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2013 at 2:49 am •  Published: December 7, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baylor's Kim Mulkey wasn't sure where to begin.

Kentucky's Matthew Mitchell figures the crowd waiting to watch the men's teams from both schools was at least entertained.

Both coaches agreed on one thing: Their four-overtime classic that ended as the highest-scoring game in Division I women's history grabbed some headlines for their sport.

"Hopefully people see that we have a high level of skill and a high level of athleticism," Mitchell said after his fifth-ranked Wildcats beat No. 9 Baylor 133-130 on Friday night. "If you weren't coaching in it, and watching it, it was a real entertaining game tonight."

Mulkey is sure the fans agree. She's just not sure how good the new hand-check rule is for her game when Odyssey Sims was one of seven Baylor players to foul out after she scored a career-high 47 points.

"Personally I can't stand it," Mulkey said after the teams combined for 80 fouls — 47 by her team — and 112 free throws. "Anybody that lets you shoot that many free throws, that's not basketball."

Jennifer O'Neill scored a career-high 43 points, including the go-ahead basket in the fourth overtime, as the Wildcats (9-0) won consecutive games against top 10 opponents for the first time.

The previous high for a Division I women's game was 252 points in SMU's 127-125 win over TCU, also in four overtimes, on Jan. 25, 1997.

"I don't feel anything right now," said O'Neill, who set a school scoring record. "I thought it was more overtimes to be honest."

The Bears (7-1) rallied from 12 down in the last 10 minutes of regulation and had several chances to win even after Sims fouled out with the Lady Bears down by two with 1:23 left in the first overtime.

"I had a lot of faith in my team," said Sims, who topped her previous high of 37 points against Oklahoma her freshman year. "We did all we could right to the end."

It almost was the second Division I women's game to go five overtimes. A series of missed free throws gave each team a chance to extend the game throughout the extra periods, including the last one.

O'Neill's layup with 1:42 left in the fourth OT finally put Kentucky ahead for good. She missed the second of two free throws with a two-point lead with 6 seconds left but teammate Bria Goss grabbed the rebound.

After Goss gave Baylor one more chance by missing the second of her two free throws, a desperation 3-pointer by Baylor's Alexis Prince, who was playing for the first time this season, rimmed out at the buzzer.



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