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Women's b-ball article

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by spud, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. spud

    spud Member

    Let 'er rip.

    The table was set perfectly for the Lady Bears.

    With two games to go in the regular season, all Baylor had to do was sweep its last two games against Texas A&M University and the University of Oklahoma to lock up a Big 12 regular season title.

    All three teams entered last weekend with an 11-3 conference record, meaning Baylor was in the rare and enviable position to control its season.

    Unfortunately for the Lady Bears, the battle for the conference title will no longer include them.

    Baylor's title hopes were dashed at the Ferrell Special Events Center Sunday afternoon with a 63-58 loss to Texas A&M, giving the Aggies a season sweep over Baylor.

    The Lady Bears can finish no lower than third in the conference, however, and they'll move up to second if they can defeat Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday.

    "When the sun rises, we'll look towards Oklahoma and all the positive things we've done this year and realize that we weren't supposed to finish third," head Coach Kim Mulkey said. "We weren't supposed to be vying for a championship this late in the season, and we were."

    The Aggies are now poised to win their first Big 12 title in women's basketball. Now that they own season sweeps over both Baylor and Oklahoma, all tiebreakers will fall in Texas A&M's direction.

    With Baylor's loss, all Texas A&M needs now is a win over the University of Texas this week to clinch the title. If the Aggies lose, they'll be relying on Baylor to knock off Oklahoma to assure the title and a No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament next month.

    While Baylor's battle with Oklahoma on Wednesday no longer carries the implications it once did for the Lady Bears, it won't make the game any less meaningful, Mulkey said.

    "We just have to learn from this, pick it up, go to Oklahoma and win," said senior forward Bernice Mosby, who scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds on Sunday. "I wish we could have won on our home floor on senior night, but life goes on and we have another game to go win."

    Texas A&M was able to seize the win in the game's late stages, outshooting Baylor from the perimeter and forcing a crucial turnover with less than a minute left in the game.

    "They're a little bit more polished than we are as a team," Mulkey said. "They made the plays to win. We have done well in finishing games, but today we didn't."

    Baylor did receive a bit of good news Sunday as freshman forward Danielle Wilson broke a 27-year Baylor record for blocked shots in a season. Her 77 blocks broke the record set by Carol Reeves-Brandenburg in the 1979-1980 season.

    "It's a great accomplishment," Wilson said. "Just on the defensive end, I've been trying to use my wingspan to the best of my ability."

    The Lady Bears will be looking to avenge a 76-63 loss to the Sooners in Waco earlier this season.

    After sweeping Big 12 play last year and winning its first seven conference games this year, Oklahoma has faltered somewhat. They went 1-2 over a three-game stretch in early February, which opened the door for Baylor and Texas A&M to leapfrog them in the conference standings.

    Even though the title may be out of reach, Baylor can still ruin Oklahoma's chances at their second championship in as many years. And that could be enough motivation to propel the Lady Bears to a win in the last game of the regular season.

    "This defeat is not final. We've got more games to play," Mulkey said. "We took ourselves out of the running for the Big 12 title, and you don't like for seniors to lose on their last game on their home court. Those are the two worst things about it."
  2. timesup

    timesup New Member

    Story seems fine. I'd move the blocked shots record up in the story. Maybe go to it before breaking down what has to happen for Texas A&M to win the title. That will be more important to the local fans than what an opposing team has to do to clinch the crown, especially since the record stood for so long. That may even deserve a sidebar of its own. Other than that, it is a pretty modern gamer. You don't go into much detail about the game itself, but everyone who really cares will know what the score is by the time they read the paper.
  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Thanks for sharing your work with us. Quickly this morning:

    - First line makes me think of Goldilocks. Take care with your images. "Table setting" is a cliche, as well, so try to avoid it, especially in a lede.

    - I think the notion that "all" Baylor has to do is sweep is a false premise, especially when the other two teams have the same record. Seems to me Baylor's got a lot of hard work to do, and that they're hardly in the rare or enviable position of controlling their own season.
  4. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    I usually tell my guys to avoid a nickname before the actual team name. Reading the first sentence, I'd have no idea who this story was about.
    Yes, it's in the second graph, but it should have been in the first.
  5. Chad Conant

    Chad Conant Member

    Another nitpicky thing, but I think you're good just saying Texas A&M and Oklahoma and saving an economy of words.

    I'm an economy of words guy, like "are now poised to win" being just as easy to say "can win." or "was able to seize" easier to say "seized."

    Gives you a more active voice. I've always thought the more active stuff is, the bouncier it is.
  6. spud

    spud Member

    Thanks for the comments.

    I'm of the same mind, but unfortunately our style guide dictates we put "University" after every college, including spelling out LSU... pain in the ass, but I'm pretty sure I did enough lobbying and bitching to get it changed this year. I do need to tighten up my copy though. I'll put up another story and maybe you can notice some themes that need changing.
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