| Baylor [#1/1 (2-0)] vs. UCLA [#22/RV (2-0)]
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 | 7 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Ferrell Center (10,284)
TV: None (Baylor All-Access)
|Watch | Listen | Gametracker | Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central|
BAYLOR HOSTS PRESEASON WNIT
The 2011 Preseason WNIT marks the third time Baylor has hosted the event, as the Lady Bears were also the 1998 and 2006 tournament hosts. In addition, BU has hosted two Postseason WNIT events.
As in previous seasons, as long as Baylor wins, it will continue to host tournament games.
All told, 16 teams are competing in the 2011 Preseason WNIT. Chattanooga, ETSU, Howard, McNeese State, Tennessee Tech, UAB and UCLA are on Baylor's side of the bracket while Akron, Detroit, Drexel, Hartford, Indiana State, Long Island, Manhattan and Notre Dame are on the opposite side of the bracket.
Baylor, Hartford, Notre Dame and UCLA have advanced to the tournament semifinals. In addition to top-ranked Baylor hosting No. 22 UCLA, No. 2 Notre Dame hosts Hartford. Semifinal winners play on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m. The title game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Thad Anderson calling the action and former Colorado women's head coach Ceal Barry serving as color analyst.
The Lady Bears are 6-2 in Preseason WNIT contests, losing in the second round in 1998 to 20th-ranked Florida (70-58) and to 12th-ranked Purdue (69-55) in the 2006 championship game. Since that loss to Purdue, Baylor has won 49 straight non-league home games (including two NCAA Tournament games in 2011).
Baylor comes into the contest as the nation's top-ranked team with a 2-0 mark. Head coach Kim Mulkey posted her 300th career victory in the Lady Bears' 91-31 win over Chattanooga on Sunday afternoon. Baylor opened Preseason WNIT play on Nov. 11 with an 82-28 win over the visiting Howard Bison. In its first two contests, Baylor has out-scored its opponents 173-59. The Lady Bears are led by junior post Brittney Griner's 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Also managing double-digit scoring averages are sophomore guard Odyssey Sims (16.5), junior forward Brooklyn Pope (12.5) and junior post Destiny Williams (10.5). Pope, Williams and freshman post Sune Abuke have all posted impressive rebounding averages with 7.5, 7.0 and 6.0 per game, respectively.
UCLA, under first-year head coach Cari Close, also enters Thursday's game with a 2-0 record. In their first two Preseason WNIT games, the 22nd-ranked Bruins posted home victories over McNeese State (67-59) and Tennessee Tech (74-52). UCLA is led by junior forward Atonye Nyingifa's 16.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.
• In just her 12th season as a head coach, Kim Mulkey attained 300 career victories and ranks No. 4 among the winningest active Division I head coaches (.792) and No. 5 all-time. Of the three active coaches ranked ahead of her, Mulkey reached 300 wins the fastest. It took Geno Auriemma (UConn) and Pat Summitt (Tennessee) each 13 seasons to attain the milestone and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer needed 14 years to reach 300.
• Baylor's Ferrell Center record in regular season, non-conference games under coach Mulkey is 88-1 (.989). During that 12-year time span, Baylor's lone Ferrell Center loss came against 12th-ranked Purdue on Nov. 19, 2006, in the Preseason WNIT championship game. Since then, Baylor has won 49 straight non-league home games (including two NCAA Tournament contest in 2011).
• Baylor's junior post Brittney Griner has registered 404 career blocked shots and needs 43 more rejections to break Oklahoma's Courtney Paris' Big 12 record of 446.
• Griner needs seven free throws to move into the No. 2 spot on BU's career free throw made chart. She has 423, Angela Tisdale (2004-08) currently sits at No. 2 with 429.
• Baylor hasn't allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent from the field in 176 straight games, dating back to March 25, 2006.
• Baylor has won at least 29 games in three of head coach Kim Mulkey's 11 seasons and has won 30 or more games twice; 33 in 2005 and a school-record 34 in 2011.
• Baylor was a school-record 21-0 at home in 2010-11 and has won 68 of its last 73 Ferrell Center games since the start of the 2007-08 season. Texas' 70-54 win in 2009-10 marked BU's last homecourt loss.
• Baylor has won five Big 12 titles, two regular season (2005, 2011) and three postseason tournaments (2005, 2009, 2011).
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
Located in Los Angeles, Calif., the 22nd-ranked UCLA Bruins are 2-0 on the season with Preseason WNIT home victories over McNeese State (67-59) and Tennessee Tech (74-52).
The 2011-12 Bruins welcomed back eight letterwinners, including two starters (Markel Walker and Atonye Ayingifa) from last season's squad (28-5) which finished second in the Pac-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA is led this season by junior forward Atonye Nyingifa's 16.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. She is followed by senior guard Rebekah Gardner's 15.0 points and 8.5 rebounds while Rhema Gardner , as sophomore forward scores 12.5 a contest and sophomore guard Thea Lemberger manages 11.0 an outing.
The Bruins are coached by first-year head coach Cori Close. Close has worked as associate head coach or assistant coach for the past 15 seasons, spending two years at UCLA, nine seasons at UC Santa Barbara and most recently, seven years at Florida State.
MULKEY VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
In head coach Kim Mulkey's 12 seasons, Baylor is 74-57 against ranked opponents. Since a 69-55 loss to No. 15 Texas during the 2004-05 season, Baylor is 56-32 versus ranked opponents, including 13-2 in 2010-11.