Ranking: 3 - AP, 3 - Coaches
Last Game: March 26, 2017 loss vs. Mississippi State, 94-85
Head Coach: Kim Mulkey
Career Record: 506-96 (18th season)
BU Record: 506-96 (18th season)
Ranking: NR - AP, NR - Coaches
Last Game: February 28, 2017 loss vs. Southwest Baptist, 68-56
Head Coach: Robin Harmony
Career Record: 202-101 (10th season)
Lamar Record: 69-53 (5th season)
LADY BEARS TIP OFF 2017-18 SEASON
The No. 3/3 ranked Baylor Lady Bears open their 44th season of competition on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. (CT) against Lamar inside the Ferrell Center. It is a doubleheader with the Baylor men's basketball team, which tips off against Central Arkansas at noon.
Eighteenth-year head coach Kim Mulkey, who ranks second among active head coaches and tied for third all-time with an .841 winning percentage, returns six letterwinners from last year's NCAA Elite Eight and Big 12 regular season champion squad. Two starters are back, including junior All-American and Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Kalani Brown and senior Preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention pick Kristy Wallace.
As a part of Military Appreciation Night, service men and women who show a Military ID can purchase a discounted ticket for $5 at the Baylor Athletics Ticket Office. The first 750 fans will also receive a free koozie.
BAYLOR IN SEASON OPENERS
Baylor is 35-8 (.814) all-time in season openers, 15-2 (.882) under head coach Kim Mulkey. The Lady Bears are 25-2 (.926) in Ferrell Center home openers, 17-0 under Mulkey.
A LOOK AT THE CARDINALS
Lamar was selected to win the Southland Conference in a poll of the league coaches and sports information directors.
Three Cardinals were named to the preseason all-conference first team team, including guard Chastadie Barrs, post Kiandra Bowers and guard Moe Kinard.
The roster, led by fifth-year head coach Robin Harmony, is comprised of five freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and three seniors.
Lamar returns all five starters from last's squad, which compiled a 22-8 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Southland action.
Baylor leads Lamar, 6-1, in the all-time series.
The team's last met on Nov. 9, 2012, with the Lady Bears earning the victory, 80-34.
The Lady Bears are 4-0 against the Cardinals at home.
The lone loss of the series for Baylor came at Lamar, 77-36, on Dec. 7, 1988.
Head coach Kim Mulkey is 3-0 against Lamar in her Baylor tenure.
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.
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.
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).
Baylor women's basketball received a No. 3 ranking with 687 points in the USA Today Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll.
The Lady Bears have been included in the preseason Top 5 by the poll for the third season in a row and the sixth time overall. BU has been represented in the Top 10 in eight consecutive seasons. Connecticut received the top spot, followed by No. 2 South Carolina.
Baylor has been ranked in the Top 10 of the USA Today pol for 59 consecutive weeks, including 48 Top five rankings.
In the Preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll, Baylor was rated No. 3.
The Lady Bears have been ranked in the preseason Top 5 of the poll for the sixth time overall and the third consecutive season. Connecticut was unanimously rated No. 1, followed by No. 2 Texas.
BU has been ranked in the Top 5 of the AP poll in 29 consecutive releases and the Top 10 of the AP poll for 54 straight announcements.
The No. 2-ranked recruiting class of Alexis Morris, Trinity Oliver, Didi Richards and Moon Ursin will make their Lady Bear debuts on Friday.
The talented group of guards will be called upon to contribute immediately with Baylor's smaller roster of 10.
Morris is a Jordan Brand Classic, Naismith Trophy and McDonald's All-American who led Legacy Christian Academy to four district titles and a state championship in 2017. She is a four-time Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools 3A Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year (Texas) in 2017.
Oliver is a three-time TGCA All-State selection and two-time TABC Girls' All-State 6A pick. She was named District 7-6A MVP and Fort Worth Star Telegram Player of the Year in 2016.
Richards, the all-time leading scorer (male or female) at Cypress Ranch High School with 2,251 career points, is a Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald's All-American. She was named TABC 6A Girls High School Player of the Year and received All-State accolades in 2017.
Ursin is the first player to ever secure three Gatorade Player of the Year awards in Louisiana. The two-time Miss Basketball led Destrehan High School to a 2017 Class 5A Championship with a perfect 35-0 record. She was named District 7-5A MVP three times.
COX NAMED TO KATRINA MCCLAIN AWARD WATCH LIST
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced on Thursday that Baylor women's basketball sophomore Lauren Cox is one of 20 watch list candidates for the 2018 Katrina McClain Award. In its inaugural year, the award is named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year and honors the top power forwards in women's NCAA Division I basketball.
The Big 12 Sixth Man Award recipient a year ago averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, appearing in all 37 game with one start as a freshman. She has built a reputation as an inside and outside scoring threat, and a dominant shot blocker. Cox, a native of Flower Mound, Texas, was unanimously named to the 2017 All-Freshman Team after securing four Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors. In the preseason, she was recognized by league coaches as an All-Big 12 honorable mention selection.
HOME SWEET HOME WIN STREAK
Baylor has won 178 consecutive home games vs. non-ranked opponents, dating back to an April 4, 2003, homecourt loss to Auburn in the WNIT finals. BU is 216-4 (.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.
The Lady Bears have won 66 of their last 67 home games, and are 277-23 (.923) in Mulkey's tenure in the Ferrell Center.
MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON
Junior center Kalani Brown is 79 points away from reaching the 1,000-career points milestone. Averaging 15.4 points per game last season, she is on pace to join the club in five games.
Senior guard Kristy Wallace is 161 points away from reaching the 1,000-career points mark. Averaging 7.6 points per game last year, she should join the club 21 games into the season.
Only 32 players have scored more than 1,000 point in their Baylor careers, most recently now-professionals Khadijiah Cave (overseas) and Alexis Prince (WNBA, overseas).
THE MULKEY FILE
In her 18th season, Kim Mulkey has posted an impressive 506-96 (.841) record which ranks No. 2 nationally in winning percentage among active coaches behind Connecticut's Geno Auriemma (.880).
Kim Mulkey's 35 seasons as a player and coach have resulted in 35 postseason trips, including 34 to NCAA/AIAW Tournaments.
In 588 of 602 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 56.2 percent (506) of the program's 900 all-time victories.
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 11 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 241-20 (.923) over the past six 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, and 33-4 in 2016-17. In that same span, BU is 136-8 (.944) in Big 12 play -- 117-7 in the regular season and 20-1 in Big 12 Tournament play.
210 of Baylor's 241 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 402 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 11 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.
Baylor is scheduled to face 10 programs, including Central Arkansas, UCLA, Penn, Kentucky, Stanford, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia, in a total of 15 games that made the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17.
Nine of those teams are represented in the preseason Top 25 polls, including No. 2/6 Texas, No. 7/8 UCLA, No. 10/9 Stanford, No. 13/15 West Virginia, No. 22/21 Oklahoma, rv/rv Georgia Tech, rv/rv Kansas State, rv/rv Kentucky and rv/nr Oklahoma State.
MULKEY SIGNS TOP RECRUITING CLASS
The Lady Bear 2018 class, comprised of forward Caitlin Bickle (Cave Creek, Ariz.), forward Aquira DeCosta (Sacramento, Calif.), forward Queen Egbo (Houston, Texas), guard Honesty Scott-Grayson (Brick, N.J.) and forward NaLyssa Smith (Converse, Texas), is ranked No. 1 nationally by ESPN Hoopgurlz and Prospects Nation.
Each player owns a five-star rating and is ranked in the Top 30 overall by ESPN Hoopgurlz, solidifying Baylor's most talented class to date. The only other consensus top-ranked class in program history came in 2008-09, when Brittney Griner (No. 1 by ESPN Hoopgurlz), Mariah Chandler (No. 16 by ESPN Hoopgurlz), Jordan Madden (No. 58 by ESPN Hoopgurlz), Shanay Washington (No. 64 by ESPN Hoopgurlz) and Kimetria Hayden (unranked by ESPN Hoopgurlz) signed NLIs.
A RECORD-SETTING SEASON
Throughout the course of the 2016-17 season, which saw the Lady Bears win their seventh-straight regular season Big 12 title and reach the NCAA Elite Eight, Baylor set 26 records.
Against Winthrop on Dec. 15, 2016, the Lady Bears set school records for points (140), field goals made (58), rebounds (75), assists (42), blocks (17), first half points (77), largest half-time lead (59 points) and largest margin of victory (108 points).
The 140-32 win over Winthrop also broke the NCAA women's basketball record for margin of victory (108 points).
At Kansas State on Jan. 25, 2017, Baylor broke its ninth school record for largest half time lead in Big 12 play (30 points). With the 91-49 final victory, the Lady Bears handed the Wildcats their worst-ever home loss (42 points).
Redshirt senior Alexis Jones tallied the program's first-ever points-rebounds-assists triple-double against Oklahoma on Jan. 29, 2017 (24 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists).
Baylor scored 1,533 points in the Big 12 regular season, surpassing Oklahoma's 2001 squad (1,514) as the highest scoring conference regular season.
In the Big 12 Championships quarterfinal win against Texas Tech, Baylor set a record for double-doubles (3), field goals made (41) and rebounding margin (28, 51-23).
In the Big 12 Championships semifinal, the Lady Bears saw four records fall. Junior Kristy Wallace distributed a championships and semifinal game record 15 assists. Redshirt senior Alexis Prince set semifinal records with an 87.5 (7-8) field goal percentage and 1.000 (4-4) three-point field goal percentage.
Baylor also set a Big 12 Championship semifinal record with a 94.1 (16-17) free throw percentage.
Wallace tied a Big 12 Championships series record with 27 assists in the three-game stretch.
Baylor set four national and seven program NCAA Tournament records in its first round victory over the No. 16 seed Texas Southern.
The Lady Bears set NCAA Tournament records for points in a game (119 -- regulation only, not overtime), margin of victory (89 points), rebounding margin (+41) and lowest opponent field goal percentage (13.8 percent).
Baylor bested its previous NCAA Tournament point total of 91 (vs. Illinois State on March 19, 2005; vs. Florida on March 22, 2004) with 119 points.
The Lady Bears pulled down 60 rebounds, four more than their previous record of 56 in an NCAA Tournament game (vs. Florida State on March 26, 2013).
Baylor dished out 35 assists for another NCAA Tournament school record, topping its previous high of 27 (vs. Idaho on March 18, 2016).
The Lady Bears shot a blistering 63.2 (48-76) percent from the floor to set new program records for field goal percentage (previously 58.9 percent (33-56) vs. Green Bay on March 27, 2011), field goals made (previously 37 vs. Idaho on March 18, 2016) and field goal attempts (previously 74 vs. Idaho on March 18, 2016; vs. Maryland on March 25, 2006) in an NCAA Tournament game.
Baylor matched its school record with nine made three-point field goals against the Lady Tigers. This has happened four times for the Lady Bears in NCAA Tournament games.
Baylor set a NCAA Tournament record through three games for margin of victory, besting opponents by a combined 163 points.
Baylor continues its home weekend with a Sunday afternoon contest against Coppin State at 2 p.m. (CT) inside the Ferrell Center. It is the second annual Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Game. Sophomore Lady Bear Lauren Cox, who learned she had Type 1 Diabetes as a child, will be on hand to interact with children and representatives from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) chapter out of Dallas, Texas.