By Jeffrey Swindoll
It won’t count toward the regular season record, but Baylor Lady Bears basketball plays Midwestern State University 7 p.m. today at the Ferrell Center.
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey starts her 15th season at Baylor, returning three starters and nine total players from last year’s roster. The Lady Bears won a share of the Big 12 regular season title and an outright Big 12 Tournament Championship title in Oklahoma City, Okla., last season.
On the back of All-American guard Odyssey Sims, Mulkey and the Lady Bears made it as far as the Elite Eight of the tournament last season, losing to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Sophomore forward Nina Davis, sophomore guard Alexis Prince, junior guard Niya Johnson and senior post Sune Agbuke are shoe-ins for the Lady Bears’ starting lineup tonight. Prince is the only player from those four that did not start in the Lady Bears’ Big 12 season last year.
Scheduled as an exhibition game, tonight’s game against Midwestern State will see most, if not, all of the Lady Bears’ roster receive playing time. Three freshmen, post Micayla Buckner, forward Dekeiya Cohen and guard Kristy Wallace, will play their first ever game for Baylor against Midwestern State.
The Midwestern State Mustangs finished with an 18-12, took fourth place in their respective conference and advanced to the NCAA Division II postseason for the second consecutive season last year.
Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, MSU is picked to finish second in the Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll. Six of the Mustangs’ eight returning players are seniors, including senior forward Andrea Carter.
Carter, the Lone Star Conference’s Preseason Player of Year, averaged 16.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game last season. MSU head coach Noel Johnson is in his seventh year as head coach of the Mustangs.