By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
Baylor’s second-ranked women’s basketball team, which has held tight at that No. 2 spot in the AP Poll for over a month now, will play at home against Oklahoma at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
This is the Lady Bears’ first game since head coach Kim Mulkey reached the 600 career win mark Tuesday night after a victory over Texas Tech. Baylor will be honoring Mulkey for her accomplishment before the game with a pre-game presentation as well as 5,000 T-shirts for fans in attendance.
Mulkey’s became the fastest head coach in NCAA history, for men’s or women’s basketball, to reach 600 wins. She has done it in just 700 career games as head coach of the Lady Bears.
Mulkey, though, has always been one to shower credit on the people around her. After the win over Texas Tech, Baylor players were wearing hats signifying their coach’s 600 wins. Mulkey said that she could not have reached this milestone without the talent of the players she has coached over the years.
“They deserve to have [the hats] on because they are a part of those 600,” Mulkey said. “And I wish and hope that our program can probably mail one to every player I have ever coached, because that is who needs to be wearing them, not me.”
The Lady Bears enter their game against Oklahoma with a 24-1 overall record, as well as a 13-0 record in the Big 12. With a three-game lead over TCU and just five games left to play, Baylor is closing in on its 10th straight Big 12 championship.
“You want to have those kids leave you having experienced a championship,” Mulkey said. “And that’s not just a national championship. That’s a Big 12 championship. I want them to get that ring again. I want them to say to their children and grandchildren someday, ‘I’ve got something that a lot of players never get.’ That’s why they come to Baylor.”
The Oklahoma Sooners enter this game with just a 5-8 record in the Big 12 and a 12-13 record overall. They are currently on a three-game losing streak.
Baylor won the first matchup on the road back in January by a score of 77-56. Graduate guard Te’A Cooper was the star of that game. She had a dominant performance with 32 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
The Lady Bears will be hoping to stay on their winning streak, which has now reached 17 games, by capturing a victory over Oklahoma at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Ferrell Center.