Lady Bears could earn regular-season perfection

No. 42 center Brittney Griner shoots the ball during the game against UCLA on Nov. 17 at the Ferrell Center. Matthew McCarroll | Lariat Photographer
No. 42 center Brittney Griner shoots the ball during the game against UCLA on Nov. 17 at the Ferrell Center.
Matthew McCarroll | Lariat Photographer

30-0 and one left to go

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Writer

Perfection in the regular season is not a goal of the No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears, but it is one win away as they face Iowa State for the last game of the season at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Ferrell Center.

While the focus is on junior Brittney Griner and sophomore Odyssey Sims, three players will be honored at halftime for their dedication to the program: seniors Terran Condrey, Ashley Field and Lindsay Palmer.

“They’re not really vocal leaders like that, but they do the right thing on and off the court,” junior Brooklyn Pope said. “It’s really hard to do the wrong thing when you have an example like that. [Condrey] picks me up for practice almost every day. I’ll call her at the last minute. Practice will start at 1:15, and I’ll call her at 1 o’clock, ‘T [Condrey,] I need a ride!’ And she’ll go, ‘Awww, Brook, I was just about to go. Here I come.’ So one person won’t be left behind. They always look out for us, and we’re going to miss that.”

Condrey has recorded the most minutes on the hardwood, serving as the fourth guard.

“I’ve coached a lot of great players, I’ve coached a lot of great kids,” head coach Kim Mulkey said. “They don’t get any better than Terran Condrey. She comes from a home that is loving. Her parents are actively involved in her life. Terran’s going to do the right thing. I never have had a moment’s problem off the floor with her. She’s low-maintenance, she’s respectful. She will go down as one of my all-time favorite kids, because she’s just here. ‘What do you want me to do, coach?’ I don’t worry about anything concerning Terran Condrey.”

For Field and Palmer, their roles have been more behind the scenes.

“Just like Terran, Ashley and Lindsay are low-maintenance,” Mulkey said. “Those kids get beat up every day in practice. Ashley, of all the people, she’s the one that has had to guard Griner the most. And it gets to the point sometime where you can just see her out there, it’s like, ‘Coach, I don’t have another part of my body that doesn’t have to bruise on me.’ It wears on you. And yet at the same time, they can see the bigger picture in life.”

The bigger picture, Mulkey said, is the impact their playing careers will have on their lives as well as the impact they will have on Baylor in the future.

“And they understand they’re getting a free education. And the memories that they will have, regardless of the minutes that they did or didn’t play, they’ve never been anything but great teammates,” Mulkey said. “They’re extremely intelligent. Both [Field and Palmer] graduated, and they’re both working on another degree plan. Just down the road, they will be great ambassadors for our program, because they’re going to be very successful in whatever they choose to do.”

Field, Palmer and Condrey will all start the game on Saturday against Iowa State.

The last matchup between the two teams was a 57-45 victory for the Lady Bears, proving to be much more defensive than offensive as both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor.

Iowa State trailed by only eight points in the paint because of the 6-foot-7-inch junior Anna Prins who led the Cyclones with 17.

After that contest, Mulkey described the game as one that will prepare a team for the playoffs. Once conference play ends Saturday afternoon, the Lady Bears will begin the Big 12 tournament where they will be the top seed, looking to reach their second goal as the Big 12 tournament champions.