Lady Bears look to stay hot through Big 12 play

No. 42 post Brittney Griner blocks Texas A&M’s No. 34 center Karla Gilbert on Saturday evening in the Ferrell Center. Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

Women's Basketball vs. Texas A&MBy Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

The No. 1 Lady Bears will take on Texas Tech at 7 p.m. today in Lubbock, and will try to build on the nation’s largest winning streak.

Baylor (8-0 Big 12, 18-1 overall) and Texas Tech (6-2 Big 12, 16-4 overall) are the top two teams in the conference.

Both teams have similar numbers in scoring defense. Baylor allows an average of 53.2 points per game whereas Texas Tech allows 53.4.

However, Texas Tech has to stop the Big 12’s best scoring offense.

Texas Tech comes in to the game winning four straight conference games, including an overtime victory over West Virginia.

The Red Raiders scored an average of 66.5 points per game in those four games. They also average 11.6 steals per game and 37.5 rebounds per game with three players averaging over five rebounds.

Baylor comes into this game having won 92 of 96 games dating back to the 2010-2011 season. They also hold the nation’s longest winning streak at 16 games as well as the nation’s longest regular season conference winning streak at 30 games. Baylor leads the Big 12 in scoring offense, blocked shots, assist turnover ratio, assists, field-goal percentage, 3-point shooting percentage and field goal percentage defense.

Senior center Brittney Griner will try to break the Big 12 scoring record after falling two points short on Saturday against No. 21 Oklahoma. Griner leads the NCAA in dunks with 11 and in blocked shots with 665. She was also ESPNW’s National Player of the Week and the Big 12 Player of the Week.

“It was unbelievable, really, the timing,” Oklahoma’s head coach Sherri Coale said after Saturday’s game. “It was gone from (Ellenberg’s) hand for several seconds before she blocked it. How do you deal with that?”

Junior guard Odyssey Sims is scoring 12.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. Sims is also second in the Big 12 in free throw shooting going for 42 of 49 this season.

Senior forward Brooklyn Pope is having her best year with 11.1 points per game.

Baylor has been playing well, but head coach Kim Mulkey wants perfection.

The Lady Bears have had trouble holding onto leads when Mulkey pulls out the starters, and they recently have had problems foul shooting in the second half of games, including the game against Oklahoma.

“I thought shooting 60 percent from the field with six players in double figures against the number two team in the league right now is very good,” Mulkey said. “But then you have to evaluate yourself and say, ‘If you shot like that and had that many players in double figures, why did you only win by 17?’ It goes back to two things. One, missed free throws. They make free throws, we missed 14 free throws. That’s unacceptable.”

The Lady Bears are experienced and have many veteran leaders. Mulkey knows what needs to be fixed and will get on her team about going back to business.

They did have many positives in their game, such as their transition game, which led to multiple scoring runs by the Lady Bears.