Davis scores 30 points to help No. 5 Baylor beat Michigan St

FREEPORT, Bahamas -- For the second straight year, Baylor found itself facing a double-digit deficit against Michigan State.

And just like last season, the fifth-ranked Lady Bears rallied to win.

Nina Davis scored 30 points and No. 5 Baylor overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat the No. 20 Spartans 84-76 on Saturday to win the Junkanoo Jam.

"We pressed and got back in it with the press," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "We stayed in the press long enough to not allow them to figure it out and get layups. We knew it was going to be a battle, it was last year. We didn't want to press too long for fear we wouldn't have a lot of gas in our tank at the end."

Last season, Baylor found itself down 13 points to Michigan State in a tournament in Orlando at the half before rallying to the victory.

"It was (similar to last year),"said Davis, who made 12 of her 17 shots and was the MVP of the tournament. "We knew coming into the game it was going to be a challenge. Not sure if everyone remembers the game last year"

Niya Johnson and Alexis Jones each added 19 points for the Lady Bears (6-0), who gave up the game's first 11 points to Michigan State before rallying. Johnson was 12 for 13 from the free throw line and had seven assists.

"Niya's amazing," Davis said. "Like I keep telling people, she's under the radar. She's one of the best point guards in the country. She puts us in the best position to score."

Tori Jankoska scored 23 points to lead Michigan State (4-1). Branndais Agee and Aerial Powers each added 16 for the Spartans.

"I thought that there were some things that we had to do well, certainly keep them off the boards and control their post play so they don't get any lobs over the top," Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said. "I thought that our post players did a great job with that, and I thought that our team did a nice job keeping them off the boards. There were portions of the game where we were really controlling, and in the fourth quarter we got a little individualized and that was disappointing."


Michigan State: The Spartans are 3-1 in the Junkanoo Jam after going 2-0 in the tournament during the 2009-10 season. ... Jankoska scored 53 points total in the tournament, but the team lost for the first time in 18 games when she led Michigan State in scoring.

Baylor: The Lady Bears improved to 16-2 under coach Kim Mulkey in games played off the mainland, including a 6-0 mark in the Bahamas. They also won the 2005 Junkanoo Jam and the 2010 Sunsplash Shootout in Nassau. ... Alexis Prince was out after having surgery Nov. 19 for a torn lateral meniscus.

MISCUES: Baylor had 22 turnovers, including nine by Jones in the game.

"The turnovers is my biggest problem right now," Mulkey said. "It starts with perimeter play. We got to get it fixed."

FREE POINTS: Baylor was 28 for 34 from the free throw line while Michigan State was 18 for 20.


Michigan State hosts No. 22 Louisville on Thursday in the Big Ten/ACC challenge.

Baylor vs. Rice on Wednesday.