Players to watch: Mason, Cox providing midseason boost

Baylor senior guard Makai Mason looks to drive the ball against two Texas Tech defenders on Saturday at the Ferrell Center. The Bears have won three straight games and Mason leads the team with 16 points per game this season. Josh Aguirre | Multimedia Editor

By Jessika Harkay | Sports Writer

Coming off big wins this long weekend, the Baylor basketball programs go into their next matchups full steam ahead with confidence. The Lady Bears advanced to 15-1 on the season and the men’s basketball team is on a three-game win streak. The two teams continue to prove themselves as threats and honorable contenders in the Big 12.

The women’s team takes on Iowa State Wednesday and the men play Alabama on Saturday morning. Going into these matchups, an important thing to consider is the influential roles that individual players have each week. In a dynamic sport, every game is an opportunity for any athlete to pull through for their team and to stand out as the playmaker of a successful game.

With that said, as the men’s 18th and women’s 17th game rolls closer, two notable players to keep an eye out for in the upcoming games are the men’s senior guard Makai Mason and women’s junior forward Lauren Cox.

Mason led the Bears on Monday night against the Mountaineers in points and assists and had all-around promising statistics. Notching nearly 30 points and having a 63 percent field goal success, Mason was crucial to the Bears’ offensive explosion against West Virginia.

Not only was his scoring impressive during the West Virginia game, but he’s scored an average of 16 points per game, leading the Bears with 235 points on the season. Along with 43 assists for the year, Makai is an important factor as the men play Alabama this weekend.

With Alabama scoring an average of 76 points per game compared to the Baylor’s 69 point average, creating an explosive and consistent offense is an important factor to pull off a win this weekend. Both teams come into the matchup with six losses, but the momentum sides with Baylor as the Crimson Tide are on a one-game losing streak.

Baylor women’s basketball faces Iowa State Wednesday night. The Cyclones come to the Ferrell Center at 14-4 and off a dominating game against Oklahoma (114-78).

The Lady Bears are no stranger to tough matchups as they notably have beat teams such as Arizona State, South Carolina, and then-No. 1 UConn.

In the Lady Bears, latest game against West Virginia, Cox shot 6-of-7 from the field and came up with 13 points to give Baylor an edge. Her consistent shot and accuracy make her a reliable player.

She currently has a 53 percent field goal rate, and came into the season ranked sixth on Baylor’s all-time block list with 145. Well-rounded with defensive and offensive capability, Cox is someone to keep an eye on during the Lady Bears’ next game.

The two basketball teams have a handful of impressive players and weapons as they prepare for their games this week. Through both of their recent wins and ongoing development and growth, it’s hard to count the Baylor Bears and Lady Bears out of any matchup going forward.

As each player finds their rhythm and begins to break out and capitalize on their strengths, the excitement and explosive dynamic of each team continues to grow more exciting to watch and cheer on.