By Krista Pirtle
Every Big 12 South women’s basketball team that has ventured into Gallagher-Iba Arena this season has lost.
The Lady Bears aim to be the first to walk away victorious come tip-off at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
No. 1 Baylor defeated Oklahoma State 71-44 on Jan. 11, but that wasn’t the score that drew the focus of head coach Kim Mulkey and her team.
“Halftime score,” Mulkey said. “Two-point ball game. That’s what you talk about. Now, why was it a two-point ball game? Let’s go to the film room and let’s correct it.”
With the defense getting stronger as the season rolls along, the Lady Bears are an improved team from their last meeting with the Cowgirls.
The same can be said for Oklahoma State.
“They improved like we did,” junior Destiny Williams said. “They aren’t the same team we played earlier this season. Just because we won a lot of games this season doesn’t mean people are just going to give us a win. We buy into what coach says and we try our best to come out with a win.”
So far, Baylor is the only Division I team, men’s or women’s, without a loss.
Being undefeated, however, is not a goal for the Lady Bears.
Their first goal stands three wins away: Big 12 Conference champions.
“We have a four-game lead,” Mulkey said. “If you win the next three you can clinch it outright. That’s our focus right now is to try to get three more wins to clinch it outright. Its not 25-0. It’s not that we’re going into our game going, ‘We’re afraid to lose because we’re undefeated.’ If we go undefeated great; if we don’t, no big deal.”
Junior Brittney Griner said when she is asked what the team’s record is, she responds, “undefeated.”
“I feel like we’re really staying focused,” Griner said. “We aren’t letting that, you know, play a factor in anything. We’re just taking it game after game.”
Oklahoma State is coming off a loss on the road to Texas 69-53.
The game against Baylor will be OSU’s Play for Kay game, which raises breast cancer awareness and funds for research.
Baylor owns a four-game winning streak in the series and holds a 26-10 advantage overall against OSU. The offensive threats for OSU are freshman forward Liz Donohoe and sophomore guard Tiffany Bias.
Oklahoma State averages six 3-pointers an outing, led by Donohoe, who made three in the previous match-up against Baylor.
However, this game will be won on the defensive end for both teams, as they are No. 1 and 2 in the conference for field goal percentage defense.
Bias is second in the conference behind sophomore Odyssey Sims with a pair of steals per game.
“What separates [us] is the athleticism and quickness we have on the perimeter, and the depth we have when someone gets in foul trouble,” Mulkey said. “We have the ability to continue to put tremendous pressure on the ball in our half court man to man defense.”