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WBB Opens Big 12 Tourney Play vs. Texas Tech

Brittney Griner

Baylor [#1/1 (31-0, 18-0)] vs. Texas Tech [NR/NR (19-12, 6-12)]
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 1:30 p.m. CT
Kansas City, Mo. | Municipal Auditorium (9,308)

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Date Thursday, March 8 | 1:30 p.m. CT
Location Kansas City, Mo. | Municipal Auditorium
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Radio ESPN Central Texas | Listen Online
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Twitter @BaylorWBB
Series Texas Tech leads, 47-27
In Waco Texas Tech leads, 20-11
In Lubbock Texas Tech leads, 425-7-3
Neutral Baylor leads, 7-2
Mulkey 19-8 vs. Texas Tech
Record 31-0, 18-0 Big 12
Ranking 1 (AP), 1 (Coaches)
Last Game W, 77-53 vs. Iowa State
Head Coach Kim Mulkey
Career: 329-79 (12th season)
BU Record: same
Record 19-12, 6-12 Big 12
Ranking NR (AP), NR (Coaches)
Last Game W, 81-58 vs. Texas
Head Coach Kristy Curry
Career: 286-136 (13th season)
Texas Tech Record: 107-85 (6th season)

The top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears, NCAA Division I's lone undefeated team with a school-record 31-0 overall and 18-0 in league play, now takes aim at their fourth Big 12 Tournament crown since 2005. Baylor claimed its third outright Big 12 regular season championship and second straight crown, as BU's first title came in 2005 with a 14-2 league record and the Lady Bears were 15-1 in 2011. The Lady Bears seek to claim their second straight and fourth overall Big 12 Championship title in Kansas City, Mo. Baylor won the postseason championship and the Big 12's automatic NCAA Tournament bid in 2005, `09 and `11.

The contest will be televised  live to all of its outlets by FSN, as Ron Thulen and Brenda VanLengen will call the action while Cindy Stein will provide sideline commentary.

Baylor is led by two double-digit scorers on the season. Junior post Brittney Griner, National Player of the Year candidate and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team finalist, leads the Big 12 with 23.3 points per game while sophomore guard Odyssey Sims, an All-America candidate, manages 14.5 a contest. Junior forward/post Destiny Williams adds 9.9 an outing and junior guard Kimetria Hayden averages 9.1 a game. Griner, Williams and junior forward/post Brooklyn Pope are the team's top rebounders at 9.6, 9.2 and 5.9 boards per game, respectively. Sims is also averaging 4.7 assists and 3.2 steals per contest while Griner manages a nation's best 5.1 blocks per game.

In Big 12 Championship contests, Baylor is 5-3 in first round games, 7-5 in quarterfinal contests, 5-2 in semifinal games and 3-2 in the finals. 

The Lady Bears are 20-12 (.625) all-told in Big 12 Championship games, including 19-8 under head coach Kim Mulkey. BU has won its first Big 12 Championship game in 10 of Mulkey's 11 seasons and has played in four of the last seven title games.

• Baylor is outscoring its opponents by 27.7 points per game on the season and by 23.9 points a game in Big 12 action.
Brittney Griner has registered a Big 12 record 550 career blocked shots, and ranks No. 2 on the NCAA Division I Career Top 10 list; she trails record-holder Louella Tomlinson's 663 rejections by 113. At her current pace of 5.2 bpg, Griner will need 23 games to break the record.
 Since the Big 12's inception, Baylor owns the highest scoring margin among conference champions in league games only with last season's +18.5 points margin. This season, the Lady Bears shattered that mark  a +23.9 scoring margin in league games only and won 15 of 18 games by double-digits. 
At 31-0,  Baylor is the nation's only undefeated NCAA Division I team, men's or women's. The 31-0 start is the best in Big 12 history; Nebraska opened the 2009-10 season at 30-0 on its way to a 32-2 finish. 
Over the last 12 games, Brittney Griner is shooting 86.4 percent (70-81) from the free throw line. She has improved her free throw shooting from .684 her freshman season to .807 this season, as her scoring average has gone from 18.4 to 23.3.
Odyssey Sims and Brittney Griner were both named to the Naismith Trophy Midseason list.
• Brittney Griner has scored in double figures in 71 straight games and in 101 of 102 career games.

Baylor edged Texas Tech in Waco, 56-51, on Feb. 18. Brittney Griner and Destiny Williams were the only two double-digit scorers for the Lady Bears, the duo also tallied double-digit rebounds. Griner score 18 points and hauled down 14 rebounds while Williams scored 16 points and pulled in 10 rebounds.

Texas Tech was led by Monique Smalls' 13 points while Kierra Mallard added 10. The Lady Raiders were 7-of-13 (.538) from 3-point range.

Texas Tech is the only Big 12 team to outrebound the Lady Bears this season, winning the board wars 38-37. In addition, the Lady Raiders held Baylor to season-lows in points (56) and field goal percentage (.351).



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