Top-ranked Lady Bears battle Kansas Jayhawks

By Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

The No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears will look to continue taking care of business as they face Kansas at 7 p.m. tonight at the Ferrell Center.

The Lady Bears (20-1, 10-0 Big 12) put their 32-game regular season win streak on the line as they take on the Jayhawks (14-6, 5-4 Big 12). Baylor will try to extend its home winning streak to 51 games, whereas Kansas is coming off two overtime victories over Iowa State and Kansas State.

Kansas will be playing without guard Natalie Knight, who tore her ACL and is out for the season. The Jayhawks are led by forward Carolyn Davis, who averages 15.7 points per game, and guard Angel Goodrich, who averages 14 points per game.

Despite their 19-point win, the Lady Bears will try to rebound from an average performance against Oklahoma State.

“I’ve got to coach. You’re not going to win many games having 20 turnovers,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “You’re not going to win many basketball games when you have them getting 22 offensive boards. If you’re going to be the number one team in the country, then you need to play like it.”

Despite that game, Baylor still ranks first in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio. Baylor is also first in the NCAA in assists per game with 21.4.

Baylor plays unselfish ball, which contributes to their effectiveness on offense.

Senior center Brittney Griner is having another strong season, setting the NCAA block record at 675 and holding the Big 12 scoring record.

“Definitely happy I got that. Now I’m going to try to set it higher,” Griner said after the win over Oklahoma. “Blocked shots keep the other team from scoring. That’s just how I look at it.“

Baylor, who is ranked third in offense in the NCAA and first in the Big 12, scores an average of 81.7 points per game. Baylor is also the best in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 50.7 percent. Defensively, the Lady Bears only allowed one team to shoot for over 50 percent in over 238 games.

The last time these two teams played was on Jan. 13 in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks changed their offense around to try and stop Griner and Sims.

However, they were not successful as Griner had 22 points in the first half. In the second half, Kansas went back to their normal scheme and tried to make Baylor defend the area behind the arc.

“She is a great player. She is going to score,” the Jayhawks’ Carolyn Davis said after the game. “If you limit some of the other things then you have a chance against them.”

Yes, they might have a chance, but Baylor proved to be too much for the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks have injured players and will have to keep up with Baylor’s high-powered offense.

Scoring on Baylor is also a difficult task with Griner, NCAA’s leading shot blocker, in the middle.

On Monday, it was announced that Griner and Sims were named on State Farm’s “Wade Watch” list to potentially win the Wade Trophy.