Originally created 01/22/06

'Queen of Thieves' nears SEC record



ATHENS, Ga. - Barely one month after she moved into the Southeastern Conference's career top 10 list for steals, Georgia's Sherill Baker is on pace to grab the record today.

Baker's fast dash up the list has been almost as startling as the quickness with which she has stockpiled the steals.

Baker was dubbed the Queen of Thieves by Georgia's publicists after she passed five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards to become the school's all-time leader on Jan. 5. She has passed all but one of the SEC leaders after moving into the top 10 on Dec. 19.

When the No. 13 Lady Bulldogs play host to No. 3 Louisiana State today, Baker will need four steals to match the record of 372 set by Tan White of Mississippi State during her career, which ended last season.

Four steals is no easy task, but Baker leads the nation with 5.4 per game. She is on pace to become the first player in the nation in 10 years to average more than five steals per game.

Baker, a slim 5-foot-8 senior, is a major reason Georgia (13-4, 3-1) has hopes of challenging LSU and top-ranked Tennessee for the conference championship even after losing four frontcourt players before the season.

Baker tied Georgia's single-game record with 10 steals in Thursday night's 81-42 win over Mississippi State and is the only Georgia player to score in double figures in every game this season.

"I'm just trying to do anything to help my team win the game," Baker said.