Prince eclipses 1,000 career points; Earns Big 12 player of the week

THE FINAL GAME Baylor Lady Bears senior guard Alexis Prince stands next to Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey during a halftime ceremony on Senior Night on Feb. 18 in Waco. The Lady Bears defeated the Lady Raiders by a final score of 86-48. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

In her final regular-season game in a Baylor uniform, senior guard Alexis Prince had herself a night to remember.

The Orlando, Fla., native scored 24 points, connected on five of her nine 3-point attempts, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out two assists and added a steal for good measure.

Her performance helped No. 2 Baylor rout No. 19 Oklahoma 103-64 in Norman, Okla., on Monday night.

This virtuoso performance from Prince also got her recognition from the conference, as the Big 12 office announced on Wednesday that Prince was the Big 12 Player of the Week.

The conference’s top honor was not all Prince accomplished with her performance against the Sooners. With 47 seconds left in the third quarter, Prince connected on a short jump shot to give the Lady Bears a 70-45 lead.

Although Baylor had been in control of the game since the opening tip, this jumper that put the Lady Bears up 25 would seem insignificant to the naked eye. However, this two-point basket got Prince to the 1,000-point milestone for her career. She became the 32nd Lady Bear to accomplish such a feat.

Prince admitted that she wasn’t sure if she was ever going to reach the milestone.

“It means a lot to me,” Prince said. “I never thought I would be able to get to 1,000 points.”

Prince has put together a solid senior season for head coach Kim Mulkey. Prince is averaging 11.1 points a game while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

After sustaining several injuries throughout her Baylor career, including the 2013-2014 season where she only played in four games and last season when she missed 14 games, Prince has been healthy and consistent all year long. She has started in all 29 games for the Lady Bears and has played extra minutes due to an injury to redshirt senior guard Alexis Jones.

Mulkey said she has been impressed with Prince’s leadership all year long and hopes she will continue to be a leader as the Lady Bears prepare for post-season play.

“She’s happy; she’s healthy. She is at that point as a senior where she doesn’t want to stop playing,” Mulkey said after Baylor’s 87-57 win over Kansas State on Dec. 29. “You have to push her out of the gym. I love the way she is playing defense. It’s just the way she is carrying herself. Her entire game offensively and defensively is as good as it has been since she has been here.”

Prince and the Lady Bears are currently gearing up for the start of the Phillips 66 Big 12 conference tournament. Baylor wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the tournament following its 86-48 win over Texas Tech on Saturday and Texas’ loss at home to Iowa State on Friday night.

The Lady Bears are also currently in line for a No. 1 seed in the Oklahoma City region of the NCAA Tournament. If they are able to remain in this position, they would get to play their first two rounds at home at the Ferrell Center.

Post-season play for the Lady Bears begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday when they will play the winner of No. 8 Texas Tech and No. 9 TCU, a game that will be played at 6 p.m. Friday.

All Big 12 quarterfinal matchups, including Baylor’s, will air on Fox Sports, with the semifinals and championship moving over to FS1.