Lady Bears begin second half of Big 12 play

Beatrice Mompremier, a freshman post from Miami, Fla., shoots during Tuesday's game against WVU. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

Sitting at No. 4, the Lady Bears basketball team looks to continue to improve as it takes on Kansas State at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.

The Lady Bears (21-1, 8-1), are coming off a road victory last Saturday against West Virginia and look to continue their dominant Big 12 campaign.

“We started the game turning it over a lot, but we got better as the game went on. I think we only had nine turnovers, but I was shocked we only had six assists,” said head coach Kim Mulkey.

“And when you play a good team like we did West Virginia, you have to fight from start to finish. And to sneak out of there with a victory, it’s tough.”

The good thing for the Lady Bears is that their next battle will be at home. To possibly eight-game winning streak.

We’ve got to get prepared and play a team that is going to spread you out and try and shoot the three ball. But hey we are home, it’s good to be home,” Mulkey said.

Historically speaking, the Lady Bears have had overwhelming success against Kansas State.

“We got out of there and now we are focusing on K-State and had to play those guys three times last year, if you count the conference tournament,” Mulkey said. “Jeff Mittie is trying to get his players in there and you’re going to see zone, you are going to see some of the Bill Finley stuff, from a triangle and two to a diamond and one.”

Mittie is entering his second season as Kansas State’s head coach and 24th overall as a head coach.

Mittie and the Wildcats (14-6, 4-5) are coming off a loss at home are will be determined to get things going back their way.

The Lady Bears will need to stop junior forward Breanna Lewis, who leads the Wildcats with 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

The Wildcats average .649 free throw percentage and 36.8 rebounds PER game.

Although the Wildcats record doesn’t present a threat, senior guard Niya Johnson said no team can be overlooked.

“We can’t look past those teams,” Johnson said. “You have to play every game like its your last, especially in the Big 12 conference. That’s what coach Mulkey tries to get in our heads, playing each game like it’s your last game in this conference.”

Halfway through conference play, every win matters. But with time, each team continues to improve.

“I think of how we started at Oklahoma State, our very first game of the year guys. Not many teams could respond the way this bunch has,” Mulkey said. “They have won how many straight now, since that loss. I’m please that we responded that way. I wish we could go back and redo that Oklahoma State game and have Niya play, but you can’t.

The Lady Bears, happy to be back home will need all the support they can get as they take on the Wildcats.

“It’s good to be back, playing in front of our fans,” Johnson said.

The Lady Bears are in a dead heat with Texas (20-1, 9-1) for the regular season Big 12 title. There is a lot at stake in each Big 12 contest for Baylor and Texas.