Date: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 27-29, 2009
Location: Waco, Texas
Arena: Ferrell Center (10,284)
THE LADY BEARS
Four Lady Bears are averaging double-digit scoring. Freshman post Brittney Griner leads the team with 15.0 points a game while junior guard Melissa Jones tallies 14.0, the team's lone senior Morghan Medlock is averaging 11.3 points and sophomore post Ashley Field comes off the bench to score 10.5 an outing.
BU freshman post Brittney Griner became just the seventh female to dunk in a regular-season NCAA contest when she threw one down against Jacksonville State on Nov. 24. She is also a defensive threat as a shot blocker with her 88" wing span.
Baylor players are dishing it out this season. In its last two games, Baylor has collected assists on 50 of the team's 68 field goals with 25 assists on 30 field goals against Cal and 25 assists on 38 makes against Jacksonville State. On the season, the Lady Bears have registered assists on 80 of its 124 field goals made.
Ten of Baylor's 12 active players have dished out three or more assists on the season. Point guard Kelli Griffin leads the squad with 22, followed by Melissa Jones' 13.
In 10 seasons under head coach Kim Mulkey, Baylor is 240-67 (.782), which ranks her No. 4 nationally in winning percentage. In addition, the Lady Bear program ranks No. 6 among the NCAA Division I's winningest teams over that span.
Shanay Washington was named Big 12 Freshman of the Week for her performances from Nov. 16-22.
Only two Baylor players, juniors Melissa Jones and Kelli Griffin, have two or more years in the Lady Bear system. Morghan Medlock, a senior, transferred last season from Southern California and junior Whitney Zachariason has half a season in the system after transferring from Arkansas. All the rest of the squad are freshmen and sophomores.
Baylor returns one starter (Kelli Griffin) and eight letterwinners from its 2009 NCAA Sweet 16 team which finished the season 29-6.
Baylor was tabbed the favorite in the 2009-10 Big 12 Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll.
Against eighth-ranked Tennessee, eight of the 10 players that saw game action got on the scoreboard. In fact, all five freshmen played with four (Griner 15, Jordan Madden 6, Shanay Washington and Kimetria Hayden 3 each) popping in points.
All 13 players saw extensive playing time against Tennessee Tech and everyone scored. Freshman Jordan Madden led all scorers with 21. As a group the freshmen combined for 50 points, 24 rebounds, nine blocks, nine assists and eight steals.
Freshman post Brittney Griner, the nation's consensus No. 1 recruit, was named Preseason Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches and to the Naismith Trophy's Preseason Watch List.
5-10 guard Melissa Jones' 210 rebounds as a sophomore rank her No. 7 on Baylor's sophomore class list, tying her with former 6-3 Lady Bear post Danielle Wilson.
The Idaho Vandals enter the contest with an 0-3 mark. They have two home losses, an 80-57 loss to Gonzaga in the season opener and most recently, a 70-58 loss to Montana State. They lost on the road to Eastern Washington in overtime, 54-51.
Head coach John Newlee is in his second season along the Idaho sideline and sports a 13-18 record. He is in his eighth season as an NCAA Division I head coach with a career record of 106-100.
Three Vandals average double-digit scoring. Junior guard Bianca Cheever leads the team with 12.0 points a contest, Shaena Kuehu, a sophomore guard, follows with 10.7 an outing and junior guard Rachele Kloke manages 10.0 a game. Cheever and freshman post Jessica Graham share rebounding honors with 7.0 each.
LOUISIANA RAGIN' CAJUNS
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, from Lafayette, La., enter the tournament at 1-1 on the season with a victory over Texas Southern, 64-57, and a loss to Southern University, 62-51.
Head coach Errol Rogers is in his third season at Louisiana and sports a 12-50 record.
The Ragin' Cajuns have one player averaging double-digit scoring, sophomore forward Mercedes Johnson scores 14.5 a game. Senior forward Alexis Green is the team's top rebounder with 6.0 a contest.
The Lamar Cardinals are 3-1 on the season with wins over Grambling, 62-60, Alcorn State, 94-62, and Tennessee-Martin, 84-54. The Cardinals' lone loss came in the season opener at Minnesota, 84-45.
Head coach Larry Tidwell, a former Baylor assistant coach (1992-98), is in his third season at Lamar and is 42-25 at the school.
Freshman guard/forward Kalis Loyd leads the Cardinals with 13.8 points a game while Ang Green, a sophomore guard, completes Lamar's double-digit scoring with 13.0 a contest. Trashanna Smith, a junior forward, is the team's top reebounder at 6.5 a game while senior forward Darika Hill follows closely with 6.0 a contest.