With 11 wins in row under their belt, the Lady Bears look to extend that streak Saturday 2 p.m. in Lubbock against Texas Tech.
The Lady Bears (24-1, 11-1) barely escaped against TCU Wednesday night. A fourth quarter run by the Horned Frogs brought Baylor’s earlier lead of 25 down to seven points with just seconds remaining in regulation.
Missed free throws and bad defense by the Lady Bears allowed the Horned Frogs to close the gap when they got hot from the perimeter.
With a lack of leadership from the veteran players, the younger, less experienced players had to step up, said head coach Kim Mulkey.
“The young players carried you last night,” Mulkey said. “They were a presence in the paint when our perimeter got beat off the dribble. They did not allow the post players from TCU to score at will, they in turn scored.
“If we hadn’t had that lead, I’m not sure we would have won that game,” Mulkey said. “We have to make free throws. I want to be prepared and when you have the lead, maintain the lead and we just didn’t do it.”
With the Lady Bears clawing their way to the win, 81-75, they will have a similar test against the Lady Red Raiders, who can also shoot the perimeter shot.
“Same stuff that TCU did,” Mulkey said. “Take you off the dribble, push you in transition, and they shoot a ton of three’s.
“We only won there last year by seven. It’s not going to be easy. They will mix their defenses, they will play you man, they will play you the two-three zone.”
Although the Red Raiders (11-12, 2-10) struggled against the Lady Bears the first time around, losing by 26, they will be determined to get revenge at home this time around.
The Lady Bears know that the Lady Red Raiders are a tough team and will be challenged in many of the same areas as they were by TCU.
As a team, they are averaging 54.4 points and 34.8 rebounds per game in conference play.
Freshman posts Kalani Brown and Beatrice Mompremier have come up big for the Bears this season.
“I thought the two freshman posts and Kristy Wallace, in the first half played beyond what you would expect them to do on the road,” Mulkey said.
With Brown averaging 8.1 points and Mompremier 7.3, they are more than just dominant presences at the defensive end.
“They have a body and a presence in there that is just going to alter shots,” Mulkey said. “So, I don’t hesitate now, as you probably have noticed, to take any of those kids and play them.”
In the end, Mulkey said it is up to her team to take the step toward winning another Big 12 championship.
“Got to turn it around. You’re either going to be a pretender or a contender. Which one are you? That is going to be my challenge to them. People think we are a contender,” Mulkey said.
“I don’t know if they know about the win streak. I try to tell them, you have this many games left and this is how many you have to win to win a championship, a Big 12 championship.”