Lady Bears open regular season play

Senior forward Nina Davis leaps towards the net in an attempt to score against Emporia State on Nov. 1 at the Ferrel Center. The Lady Bears won 89-60. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Jordan Smith | Sports Writer

Aspiring to continue their successful basketball career, No. 2 the Lady Bears face off against Houston Baptist University Huskies for the first game of the season 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center.

Senior forward Nina Davis dominated in the two teams first meeting on Dec. 15, 2013. Davis was a perfect seven for seven in field goal percentage, had five rebounds, two assists and four steals in the game. For the Huskies, it was the first and only time they ever played a ranked opponent.

“We are excited. I think we are tired of beating up on each other, getting scratches from your teammates,” Davis said. “It’s a new year, a lot of new fresh faces and we are ready and excited to get going.”

Baylor Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey is 14-2 all time in season openers. However, in the Ferrell Center home openers, she is 16-0 all time.

Mulkey said she is impressed by the talent of freshman forward Lauren Cox in the two exhibition matches they played in before the season started.

“She’s the No. 1 player in the country for a reason. She’s very talented, and until you have her on the floor and coach her everyday, you don’t realize the other things that she brings to the table. She has a very intelligent basketball mind. she anticipates and sees things before they happen,” Mulkey said. “She is a communicator, she’ll very comfortably talk on defense and talk in drills. Thirdly, she’s got a little oomph about her and that’s not something that you coach, that’s something you are born with and she’ll get after you, and I love that about her game.”

The Huskies are coming off of a 14-15 regular season record with a 9-9 Southland conference record that saw them finish fifth in their conference last season. This season is unlike anything they have ever had before, with eight of the 15 players on roster being freshman and another six being sophomores. The Huskies do not have any juniors and they only have one senior on the entire roster.

Red shirt senior guard Alexis Jones believes the two exhibition games were good preparation for the regular season.

“They are good games to play besides playing ourselves and then practicing for a month or so. It’s a game to play against other people. The first [exhibition] game was a really good test because they came off a lot of screens and they really made us play some defense,” Jones said.