Lady Bears take on Cardinal in second straight Top 25 showdown

Sophomore guard Natalie Chou pulls up for a jump shot against Central Arkansas Nov. 14 at the Ferrell Center. The Lady Bears defeated the Sugar Bears 86-55. Baylee Versteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

The No. 9 Baylor women’s basketball team hosts No. 16 Stanford at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Ferrell Center.

The Lady Bears (5-1) are coming off a Junkanoo Jam title after having defeated Missouri State 100-58 and Georgia Tech 80-57 last weekend in Bimini, Bahamas.

Baylor sophomore forward Lauren Cox had over 40 points last week during the Junkanoo Jam. Cox earned her fourth career double-double with 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in the final game of the tournament against Georgia Tech.

Cox and junior center Kalani Brown have dominated opposing front courts this season. The inside duo combined for 45 points and 26 rebounds in the win over Georgia Tech, shooting 20-of-36 from the floor.

Cox said she and Brown play very fluidly with each other and know how to trust one another on the court.

“I think we click,” Cox said. “We work really well together. I think we pass really well together. We know where they want the ball, where each other wants the ball, when we need to throw it to them and when I throw the ball to Kalani, I know she is going to finish.”

Brown was named the Most Valuable Player for the Lady Bears in the Junkanoo Jam tournament last weekend. Brown earned her fourth double-double of the season and 16th of her career with 23 points and 10 rebounds against Georgia Tech.

The only ranked team the Lady Bears have faced this season was No. 8 UCLA, which resulted in an 82-68 loss. That changes when Stanford comes to town.

Brown said that the team does not change it’s preparations when taking on a ranked opponent.

“We take one game at a time,” Brown said. “One person at a time, we know ranked opponents are somewhat more talented, but we don’t take any team for granted number or no number. We prepare the same way every game.”

The Cardinal (5-3) have suffered two losses to No. 8 Ohio State and a loss to No. 1 UConn prior to their meeting with the Lady Bears.

Stanford freshman guard Kiana Williams poses a threat from the perimeter, having knocked down five 3-pointers in the Cardinal’s 86-66 win over San Francisco. As a team, Stanford knocked down a school record 11 3-pointers in the second half alone.

Additionally, Cardinal senior forward Kaylee Johnson is now three shy of entering Stanford’s all-time top 10 in rebounds, so the Lady Bears will need to key in on limiting second chance opportunities.

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said she has a lot of respect for Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer.

“She’s just a coach that I respect. She can take talent and just build her team and I just like Tara,” Mulkey said. “I like for what she stands for, I like how she coaches her kids and she’s been doing it a long time and just to have her come and play a non-conference game here and actually doing it at the last minute.”

Following Sunday’s matchup with Stanford, the Lady Bears will continue their homestand with a 7 p.m. Tuesday matchup against North Dakota at the Ferrell Center.