Men reach for Big 12 win; women look to keep streak

Makenzie Mason | Lariat Photographer
LaceDarius Dunn steals the ball away in Baylor’s 64-50 win over Wayland Baptist. The men face Texas Tech Saturday in Waco, while the Lady Bears travel to Lubbock to play the Lady Raiders.

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Writer

The regular season for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are coming to a close, as both have only five conference games left.

Both will face Texas Tech Saturday, as the men host the Red Raiders here and the women will head to Lubbock.

After an unsatisfying win Tuesday against Wayland Baptist, the Baylor men’s basketball team needs to come out with more energy and gusto in order to beat the Raiders in the Ferrell Center.

“We need to come to practice, work hard, [and] get better at the things that coach wants us to get better at,” senior LaceDarius Dunn said. “And like I say, we got a chance to be special. We just got to be willing to take that extra hop, and like I say we’re going to work hard and try to do it.”

In their last faceoff, on Jan. 8, Baylor pulled out a win, 71-59, as freshman Perry Jones III and Dunn scored 20 points apiece.

For Tech, John Roberson led with 14 points followed by David Tairu with 13.

Accurate shooting will obviously be a factor for the game, but a major focus for Baylor will be to lower the turnovers that have plagued the Bears for a majority of the season, as their assist-to-turnover ratio is second to last for the Big 12 at .78.

Baylor head coach Scott Drew has said his team often shares the ball, not with themselves, but with other teams.

“With these next five games, we have to really get after it, and make sure that we do a great job,” Drew said. “Every game matters. Every game’s important. We need to win every home game. I know we’ll be ready to go Saturday.”

Every win remains critical as the Bears’ Rating Percentage Index (RPI) keeps them hovering on the bubble of NCAA tournament teams.

Women chase perfection

The Baylor women’s basketball team should be ready to go Saturday after a defensive matchup on Valentine’s Day as they edged out Texas A&M for a close one, 67-58.

“We need games like this to grow up. Whether we like it or not, we grew up a lot tonight,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said after the A&M game Monday.

Baylor and Tech have already met once this season, Jan. 22, in Waco, where the Lady Bears won 64-51.

Sophomore Brittney Griner led all scorers for the game with 25, and Melissa Jones chipped in 13 for Baylor. For Tech, Christine Hyde had 14 points followed by Teena Wickett and Chynna Brown with 12 apiece.

With the Lady Bears regular season winding down and 11-0 in Big 12 play, an undefeated run through conference play is becoming more realistic, but Mulkey just wants to focus on taking things one game at a time.

In the Big 12, the Lady Bears sit atop most of the stats, including scoring offense and defense.

“If you get a little separation and take care of the next five games, you won’t have to share the title with anybody,” Mulkey said. “We haven’t won a championship yet. We still have to go to Tech, to Oklahoma, to Colorado. We have K-State and Missouri here.”

As the women look to sweep the Big 12, the men look to clean up their game and finish in the top half of the Big 12, currently tied at fourth with Missouri, holding a 6-5 conference record.