Notebook: Results trump style for Baylor's Nina Davis
If you're looking for a super-smooth player, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey says Nina Davis isn't your pick.
The sophomore with what Mulkey called an "ugly shot" doesn't have the prettiest game in the post.
But, her results can't be argued with.
Davis enters Friday's NCAA Tournament regional semifinal averaging 20.9 points on 58.6 percent shooting for second-seeded Baylor (32-3) and averages a team-high 8.3 rebounds.
"I don't know how to describe Nina," Mulkey said. "I can't tell you 'watch her good-looking shot' because she's got an ugly shot. I can't tell you to 'watch how she blocks out,' because she doesn't block out. All I can tell you is, if you haven't seen her play, come to our game tomorrow, and when you leave, you will go, 'wow,' because she's a competitor." The 5-foot-11 Davis was named Big 12 freshman of the year last season after averaging 15 points and a conference-best 8.9 rebounds per game.
She built on those numbers this season while being named the Big 12 player of the year.
"That's pretty amazing what she's done at that size, undersized, playing inside, posting up a lot, but she can put the ball on the floor and attack, as well," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "She has a 15-foot shot that's very nice, but most of her scoring comes off the free-throw line and offensive rebounds and post-area moves. And when you're 5-foot-11 and kind of thin, that's pretty amazing."
Davis, who is a 68.8 percent free-throw shooter, has attempted a whopping 272 free throws this season.
"I don't know how the ball goes in," Baylor sophomore Alexis Prince said of Davis' shot. "It's like she shoots it from the top of her head with two hands."
For Iowa (26-7) slowing Davis is priority No. 1.
It's also easier said than done.
Davis has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, including a career-high 43-point outburst at Mississippi.
Baylor is 18-0 this season when Davis scores more than 20 points.
"She is a great player and we are just going to have to try to contain her as best we can," Iowa sophomore Ally Disterhoft said. "She has a great supporting cast around her, Baylor has a ton of very talented individuals on their team so on defense we are just going to have to try to lock it up."
Iowa ties: Three of the four Sweet 16 teams in Oklahoma City feature native Iowans on their rosters.
Stanford senior Taylor Greenfield prepped at Ballard High School and is averaging 5.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Cardinal.
Greenfield was named the most outstanding player at the Pac-12 Tournament earlier this month.
Des Moines East graduate Markisha Wright is a reserve forward at Notre Dame and is averaging 2.9 points per game for the Irish.
Weather alert: Severe weather that brought tornadoes to Oklahoma City caused travel problems for a pair of teams.
Notre Dame and Baylor both reworked travel plans due to the storms that hit the area Wednesday evening.
Iowa had already arrived and was at dinner when the storm hit, but still had a minor scare when part of the roof caught fire due to a lightning strike.
"We were there having dinner last night and all of a sudden quite a few fire trucks pulled up in front and my daughter got up to go to the restroom and she said, 'Mom I just saw a fireman run through with a ladder in his hand,' " Bluder said. "That's when we figured out something was wrong, but they never got us out and my steak was still medium rare so it was all okay."
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.com.