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Radio: Baylor Sports Network IMG College, 92.9 FM in Waco
Talent: Rick May (pxp), Lori Fogleman (color)
Live Stats/In-Game: SIDEARM Stats
Twitter: @BaylorWBB | #SicEm
BAYLOR13-1, 3-0 Big 12
Ranking: 6 - AP, 6 - Coaches
Last Game: Jan. 3, 2018 win vs. Iowa State, 89-49
Head Coach: Kim Mulkey
Career Record: 519-96 (18th season)
BU Record: 519-96 (18th season)
Kansas11-3, 2-1 Big 12
Ranking: NR - AP, NR - Coaches
Last Game: Jan. 3, 2018 win at Texas Tech, 60-47
Head Coach: Brandon Schneider
Career Record: 426-188 (19th Season)
KU Record: 24-49 (3rd Season)
By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
Senior forward Dekeiya Cohen says the sixth-ranked Baylor Lady Bears (13-1 3-0) are trying to "set a tone" at the start of conference play.
With blowout victories over Kansas State, Texas Tech and Iowa State, winning the three games by a combined 118 points, you'd have to say the Lady Bears have set the tone. A very dominant one. Baylor goes back on the road to face a much-improved Kansas team (11-3, 2-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
What coach Kim Mulkey has stressed is not looking at the scoreboard and playing the same way the whole game.
"Even though it may be a blowout, we still have to at the end of the game take care of it like it's the beginning of the game," said Cohen, a 6-2 senior who's averaging 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds.
"Coach Mulkey tells us all the time, `No matter what time you get in the game, it's always important to treat it like it's a championship game. Like, these last two minutes the score is 0-0, so let's see if you can win these last two minutes.'''
Mulkey said that's starting to sink in with the three freshmen in her nine-player rotation, and it starts in practice.
"I'm trying to get their attention and make them understand how important that hour, hour and a half is," she said. "You get better in practice. You don't just get better in the games. And with nine players, I can't be on the floor for long periods of time. It's a long season."
Baylor's inside duo of 6-7 junior Kalani Brown (21.5 ppg, 9.1 rebounds) and 6-4 junior Lauren Cox (15.4 ppg, 8.8 rebounds) continue to lead the team in scoring, but they took a back seat in Wednesday's 89-49 win at home over Iowa State. Led by Natalie Chou's five 3-pointers, the Lady Bears hit 12-of-23 from distance, just one off the program record.
Freshman guard Alexis Morris, who's averaging 10.4 points and 3.6 assists, said that doesn't change the team's offensive strategy, though.
"Get the ball to the bigs," she said. "Get it to Kalani, get it to Lauren. Let them work. If they start stopping our post players, then the guards will step up and we'll start making plays."
Now in its third year under former Stephen F. Austin head coach Brandon Schneider, Kansas has become more of a back court-oriented attack with the addition of junior college guards Christalah Lyons (14.8 ppg, 4.4 assists) and Brianna Osorio (9.9 ppg). Schneider has quickly turned over his roster with half of his 14 players coming in as transfers.
"We better stop dribble penetration," Mulkey said. "Everyone on that team can take you off the dribble. They've shot more free throws than we have in the three conference games, which is a concern. They're obviously not as big as we are, but they're bigger than they have been. And they're playing with a great deal of confidence."
That's showing up in the win-loss column, with the Jayhawks already matching last year's conference win total after going winless in league play in Schneider's debut season. After opening with a 71-69 overtime loss at Iowa State, they beat TCU, 86-77, then went on the road to knock off Texas Tech, 60-47.
This game matches two of the country's top defensive teams. Baylor leads the nation with a 30.8 opponent's field goal percentage, with Kansas second in the Big 12 and sixth nationally at 33.5. Unlike the games against K-State and Iowa State, Brown and Cox shouldn't have to defend the 3-point shot as much, although 6-0 junior forward Austin Richardson (8.5 ppg, 6.1 rebounds) has hit nine treys. Kansas centers Bailey Helgren and Sara Boric have zero 3-point attempts in the first 14 games.
"Their post players don't shoot it like Iowa State's or Kansas State's post players do," Mulkey said. "I say that, that is not what traditionally they want to do. But, I've said that before, and I've seen them take their post players and bring them outside the paint."
Saturday's game is available online at ESPN3, with Brenda VanLengen and Josh Klinger calling the action.
This begins a three-game road swing for the Lady Bears, who play at Oklahoma (7-7, 2-1) next Sunday, Jan. 14, and then the rematch with Iowa State (7-7, 1-2) on Jan. 17 in Ames.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The No. 6/6 Baylor Lady Bears (13-1, 3-0) travel to meet Kansas (11-3, 2-1) on Saturday, Jan. 6 inside Allen Fieldhouse. The teams are set to tip off at 2 p.m. (CT).
Fans can stream the game online on ESPN3, available online at www.espn.com/watch/. Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and Josh Klinger (analyst) will call the action. Saturday's game will also be available on the Baylor Sports Network, IMG College and 92.9FM in Waco with Rick May (play-by-play) and Lori Fogleman (analyst) calling the action.
WHAT'S IN A WIN
The Lady Bears would be on an 11-game win streak. Baylor would have a 4-0 start to the Big 12 Conference season for the sixth time in the last eight seasons and the eighth time under the direction of head coach Kim Mulkey. The Lady Bears would have at least 14 wins in the first 15 games for the eighth consecutive season and the 12th time in the last 13 years. Baylor would record its eight-straight win against Kansas.
EXCELLING BEYOND THE ARC
Despite ranking 159th and 169th nationally in three-point field goals made (82) and three-point field goals per game (5.9), the Lady Bears are the best beyond the arc. Baylor leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (43.2), nailing 82 of 190 attempts. In Big 12 Conference play alone, Baylor is shooting 46.5 percent from three-point land, making 20 of its 43 attempts. Against Iowa State, Baylor sunk 12 three-pointers on 23 attempts, one off the program's single game record of 13 makes in a contest. Four Lady Bears are shooting above 40 percent from beyond the arc, including freshman guard Alexis Morris (52.6), sophomore guard Juicy Landrum (50.0), sophomore guard Natalie Chou (44.3) and senior guard Kristy Wallace (52.0). Landrum leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage, Chou is fourth and Wallace is sixth. Morris is not included in the rankings because she does not meet the category minimums.
Baylor leads the nation in field goal percentage defense (30.8) and scoring margin (+37.2), second in defensive rebounds per game (34), fifth in blocked shots (92), eighth in blocked shots per game (6.6) and 15th in scoring defense (54.6) through 14 games this season. The Lady Bears have held all 14 opponents at or below their scoring average as well. The only team to match its scoring average was Coppin State, which scored 54 points in its season-opener against Baylor to match its 2016-17 scoring average. Baylor has held opponents to 17.6 points below their scoring average and Big 12 opponents to 19.3 points below their scoring average. The Baylor defense has kept seven teams 20 points or more below their scoring average this year, including Central Arkansas (held to 55 points, averaged 79.0), No. 8/9 UCLA (held to 82 points, averaged 102.5), North Dakota State (held to 43 points, averaged 67.0), McNeese State (held to 34, averaged half of that at 68.0), Nicholls State (held to 43, averaged 69.1), Texas Tech (held to 49, averaged 71.0) and Iowa State (held to 49, averaged 71.8).
MILESTONE ON THE HORIZON
With 985 points, senior guard Kristy Wallace is 15 points away from reaching the 1,000-career points mark. Averaging 10.4 points per game so far this year, she is on track to join the club in the next two games. Only 34 players have scored more than 1,000 points in their Baylor careers, most recently junior Kalani Brown.
Sophomore Lauren Cox, a 6-4 forward, and junior Kalani Brown, a 6-7 center, were called `Double Trouble' by Hall of Famer and Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer and analyst LaChina Robinson posed the question, `are they the best 4/5 combination in women's basketball this year?, following Baylor's win over the No. 16/14 Cardinal.
The duo accounts for 39.0 percent of the Lady Bears' offensive output this season, netting 501 of the team's 1,285 points this season.
The pair has also recorded 35.0 percent of Baylor's rebounding efforts, pulling down 242 of the squad's 692 rebounds this year.
Against ranked opponents, Brown averages 24.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while shooting 76.9 percent from the floor.
Cox, who missed Baylor's game at No. 8/7 UCLA, averages a double-double (14.0 points, 12.0 rebounds) against two ranked opponents faced this season. She also averages 2.0 blocks and 4.5 assists, while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor against Top 25 foes.
`Double Trouble' is responsible for 42.7 percent of Baylor's scoring and 28.9 percent of Baylor's rebounding efforts against its three ranked opponents.
Through three conference games, the duo has accounted for 40.5 percent of the Lady Bears' offensive output and 38.0 percent of the rebounding effort.
Cox and Brown were named to Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Preseason All-Big 12 teams, respectively. Brown was tabbed Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year.
OWNING THE GLASS
Baylor has outrebounded all 14 of its opponents this season, boasting a rebounding margin of +18.5, which leads the nation.
In the last two seasons, the Lady Bears have outrebounded 49 of their last 51 opponents.
The last time an opponent outrebounded Baylor was on Feb. 6, 2017, when Texas edged the Lady Bears, 38-37, on the glass.
On Jan. 11, 2017, TCU matched Baylor's rebounding efforts as each team registered 38 boards.
RECORD BY STARTING LINEUP
With guard Kristy Wallace, guard Natalie Chou, forward Dekeiya Cohen, forward Lauren Cox and center Kalani Brown starting, Baylor is 11-0.
With guard Alexis Morris, guard Kristy Wallace, guard Natalie Chou, forward Lauren Cox and center Kalani Brown, Baylor is 1-0.
With guard Kristy Wallace, guard Moon Ursin, guard Natalie Chou, forward Lauren Cox and center Kalani Brown, Baylor is 1-0.
With guard Alexis Morris, guard Kristy Wallace, guard Natalie Chou, forward Dekeiya Cohen and center Kalani Brown starting, Baylor is 0-1.
Baylor leads Kansas, 27-8, in the all-time series.
In Lawrence, Kan., the Lady Bears lead the series, 10-5.
Under head coach Kim Mulkey, Baylor is 25-2 against Kansas.
Baylor has won seven matchups in a row and 15 of the last 16 against the Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks last defeated the Lady Bears, 76-60, on Jan. 19, 2014, in Lawrence, Kan.
SCOUTING THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas enters Saturday's game with an 11-3 record overall and a 2-1 mark in Big 12 play with wins over TCU, 86-77, at home and Texas Tech, 60-47, on the road.
Kylee Kopatich (15.4) and Christalah Lyons (14.8) average double figure scoring for the Jayhawks, while Austin Richardson (6.1) leads the team in rebounding.
As a team, Kansas averages 67.6 points, 42.8 rebounds, 13.1 assists, 6.6 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.
The roster, comprised of three freshmen, one sophomore, six juniors and four seniors, is led by third-year head coach Brandon Schneider.
BIG 12 HISTORY
Baylor women's basketball has won a league-leading 16 Big 12 Conference titles, eight regular season and eight tournament championships.
The Lady Bears claimed their seventh regular season conference championship in a row, finishing 17-1 last season. The lone loss came at home to Texas, 85-79.
Baylor advanced to the Big 12 Championship game for the seventh consecutive season and the 11th time in program history last year with a semifinal victory over Kansas State, 88-71.
The Lady Bears have won six of the last seven Big 12 Championship titles, falling to West Virginia last year to end their streak, 77-66.
Through 14 games, six of nine available Lady Bears have registered at least one double-double.
Junior Kalani Brown leads the way with seven double-doubles, which ranks second in the Big 12, and has a tallied 19 in her career.
Sophomore Lauren Cox has recorded four this season, including one against No. 16/14 Stanford (15 points, 15 rebounds), to bring her career total to five.
Senior forward Dekeiya Cohen recorded the first double-doubles of her career this season, one against Missouri State (10 points, 10 rebounds) and another against Texas Tech (12 points, 11 rebounds).
Senior guard Kristy Wallace posted her second career double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) against No. 16/14 Stanford.
Sophomore guard Natalie Chou recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against North Dakota on Dec. 5 in just 25 minutes played.
Freshman guard Didi Richards registered the first double-double of her career against McNeese State on Dec. 13 with a career-high 11 points and career-high 12 rebounds in a career-high 25 minutes played.
BIG 12 STAT LEADERS
The Lady Bears stand at the top of several team and individual statistical categories heading into the Big 12 Conference season.
As a team, Baylor leads the way in 15 categories, including scoring offense (91.8), scoring defense (54.6), scoring margin (+37.2), field goal percentage (.528), field goal percentage defense (.308), three-point field goal percentage (.432), rebounding offense (49.4), rebounding defense (30.9), rebounding margin (+18.5), blocked shots (6.6), assists (23.4), assist to turnover ratio (1.8), defensive rebounds (34.2), defensive rebounding percentage (.756) and offensive rebounding percentage (.434).
Junior All-American center Kalani Brown is leading the conference individually in field goal percentage (.731). She is also second in defensive rebounds (6.3), third in scoring (21.5) and rebounding (9.1) and sixth in offensive rebounds (2.8).
Sophomore forward Lauren Cox is second in the Big 12 in blocks (2.5), third in assist to turnover ratio (2.4) and defensive rebounds (6.2), fourth in rebounding (8.8) eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6) and ninth in scoring (15.4).
Sophomore guard Juicy Landrum paces the league in three-point field goal percentage (.500), netting 20 of her 40 attempts in 14 games played.
Senior guard Kristy Wallace leads the conference in assist to turnover ratio (2.8), is fifth in assists (5.3) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.429).
Senior forward Dekeiya Cohen is second in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds (3.1) and eighth in rebounding overall (7.5).
CLIMBING THE CAREER SCORING LADDER
Junior Kalani Brown surpassed the 1,000-career point mark with 33 points at No. 8/7 UCLA on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Slidell, La., native is the 34th player to score 1,000-plus points for Baylor women's basketball and the first to do so since Khadijiah Cave, who graduated last spring and is playing professionally overseas, on March 4, 2017, in the Big 12 Championship opening round win over Texas Tech.
Through 89 career games, Brown has scored 1,222 points, which ranks 23rd all-time at Baylor. She is 37 points from surpassing Bonnie Henson (1985-89), who ranks 22nd with 1,258 career points.
CALL FROM THE HALL
For the second year in a row, 18th-year head coach Kim Mulkey is in consideration for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach.
She is the only female on the Women's Committee list of 15 as both a player and coach for the Class of 2018.
The only basketball coach to win national championships as a head coach, assistant coach and player, Mulkey has compiled a 519-96 (.844) record at Baylor.
Mulkey is No. 2 nationally among the winningest active Division I coaches and No. 3 all-time in winning percentage, surpassing the late Hall of Fame coach and her mentor Pat Summitt. She also owns the top win total in the Big 12 Conference.
Mulkey, a five-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, has led Baylor to national championships in 2005 and 2012 and a Big 12 Conference record 16 league titles, including the last seven regular season and six of the last seven tournament championships.
The Lady Bears, who have made 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, have advanced to the Elite Eight in each of the last four seasons.
In her collegiate career, Mulkey led Louisiana Tech to a 130-6 record, two national titles and four Final Fours from 1980-84. The two-time Academic All-American graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana Tech with a business degree.
The All-American won gold medals with the 1984 U.S. Olympic team and the 1983 Pan American Games team.
Mulkey led Hammond High School to four consecutive state championships, a 136-5 record and finished her career with a then-national record 4,075 points. She earned all-district, all-state and All-America accolades all four years, while also graduating as valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Mulkey was the lone female named to the Louisiana Sports Writers top 25 athletes of the 20th century and listed by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 50 sports figures of Louisiana in the 20th century.
Mulkey has been inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, National High School Hall of Fame, Louisiana High School Hall of Fame, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.
She was named consensus National Coach of the Year in 2012 (WBCA, Naismith, Associated Press and USBWA) and USBWA National Coach of the Year in 2011.
NATIONAL AWARDS RUNDOWN
Junior Kalani Brown is in consideration for three national player of the year awards and the nation's top center award.
The 6-7 center has been named to the 2018 Citizen Player of the Year Watch List (national player of the year), 2018 Wade Trophy Watch List (national player of the year), 2018 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 (national player of the year) and the 2018 Lisa Leslie Award Watch List (nation's top center).
A WBCA All-American and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American in 2017, Brown was tabbed Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and named to the Preseason All-Big 12 First Team.
Brown, who has recorded a team-high seven double-doubles, leads the nation in field goal percentage (73.1), is seventh in field goals made (122) and 14th in points per game (21.5). She averages just under a double-double, leading Baylor in points per game and field goal percentage and rebounds per game (9.1).
Sophomore Lauren Cox is in consideration for the 2018 Katrina McClain Award (nation's top power forward), presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the WBCA.
Cox, who has recorded four double-doubles, is averaging 15.4 points, 8.8 rebounds per game and a team-high 2.5 blocks per contest.
The 2017 Six Man Award recipient and Big 12 All Freshman Team honoree is shooting 53.1 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from three-point range.
HOME SWEET HOME
Baylor has won 67 of its last 68 games played inside the Ferrell Center, including 10 in a row.
Baylor has won 185 consecutive home games vs. non-ranked opponents, dating back to an April 4, 2003, homecourt loss to Auburn in the WNIT finals. BU is 221-4 (.982) in non-league home games under Kim Mulkey.
Before its defeat by No. 11/13 Texas, 85-79, on Feb. 6, 2017, Baylor owned a 54-game home win streak overall dating back to March 2, 2014, when it lost to 11th-ranked West Virginia, 71-70.
Against Lamar on Nov. 10, junior All-American Kalani Brown recorded the program's first 20-point, 20-rebound performance since March 26, 2013, when WNBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner registered 33 points and 22 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
Brown accomplished the feat with 26 points (11-16 FG, 4-5 FT) and 21 rebounds (5 offensive, 16 defensive) in 32 minutes played.
THE MULKEY FILE
In her 18th season, Kim Mulkey has posted an impressive 519-96 (.844) record which ranks No. 2 nationally in winning percentage among active coaches behind Connecticut's Geno Auriemma (.881).
Kim Mulkey's 36 seasons as a player and coach have resulted in 36 postseason trips, including 35 to NCAA/AIAW Tournaments.
In 601 of 615 games under Mulkey, the Lady Bears have held their opponent at or below 50 percent field goal shooting with only six of those efforts coming in the last 14 years.
Mulkey has accounted for 56.8 percent (519) of the program's 913 all-time victories.
BIG 12 PRESEASON AWARDS
For the eighth time in program history and the third year in a row, league coaches selected a Baylor women's basketball player Preseason Player of the Year, junior All-American center Kalani Brown.
Brown earned WBCA All-American and Associated Press honorable mention All-American accolades in addition to being named unanimously to the All-Big 12 first team in 2017.
The Slidell, La., native led Baylor in scoring (15.4), rebounding (8.2), shot blocking (2.0) and field goal percentage (.679), despite averaging just 21.4 minutes per game last season.
Sophomore forward Lauren Cox and senior guard Kristy Wallace were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention team.
Cox, the reigning Big 12 Sixth Man Award winner, was named to the All-Freshman team after averaging 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game last year.
Wallace, who started every game for the Lady Bears last season, led the team in assists (208) and was second in the Big 12 in assists (5.6) and steals (1.3).
The Lady Bears have made 12 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and 16 overall. Those appearances have resulted in two national championships (2005, 2012), three Final Fours (2005, 2010, 2012), eight Elite Eights and 12 Sweet Sixteens.
Baylor has won seven consecutive Big 12 regular season and six of the last seven tournament titles. Overall the program has won eight regular season and eight tournament conference championships, most among all Big 12 programs.
Baylor is 254-21 (.924) over the past eight seasons, 34-3 in 2010-11, 40-0 in 2011-12, 34-2 in 2012-13, 32-5 in 2013-14, 33-4 in 2014-15, 36-2 in 2015-16, 33-4 in 2016-17, and 13-1 in 2017-18.
In that same span, BU is 139-8 (.946) in Big 12 play -- 121-7 (.945) in the regular season and 20-1 in Big 12 Tournament play.
223 of Baylor's 254 wins since 2010-11 have been by 10 or more points, and only 14 times in that span has its winning margin been five or fewer points (most recently three, 70-67, at No. 6/8 Texas, Feb. 20, 2017).
In Baylor's last 416 games, only three opponents (Texas, .516; Stanford, .509; West Virginia, .500) have shot 50 percent or above.
Baylor's current string of holding its opponent to .500 or less from the field is 25 games.
BU's string is 103-straight games holding its foe to .500 or below from the field was halted by No. 11/13 Texas, which shot .516 for a win on Feb. 6, 2017.
In the 2012-13 season, the Cardinal broke BU's 217-game streak of holding an opponent to 50 percent or less shooting from the floor.