| Baylor [#1/1 (7-0)] at Minnesota [NR/NR (4-3)]
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011 | 1 p.m. CT
Minneapolis, Minn. | Williams Arena (14,625)
TV: Big Ten Network
|Listen | Gametracker | Notes | Gameday Central|
BU's Nov. 20 game vs. then-No. 2 Notre Dame marked the start of the most difficult regular-season stretch in school history. After defeating the Fighting Irish at home and Yale on Nov. 22, the Lady Bears defeated then-sixth-ranked Tennessee on Sunday, Nov. 27, in Knoxville and have a Dec. 18 home game against second-ranked UConn on the horizon.
Baylor's all-time record now stands at 699-476 (.595), one victory shy of the program's 700th win; prior to coach Mulkey's arrival, the Lady Bears were 394-397 (.498). Throughout her 12 seasons, Mulkey has raised Baylor's all-time winning percentage by an impressive .097.
Baylor is averaging a Big 12-leading 51.6 rebounds a contest, hauling down 50 or more six times.
Baylor's junior post Brittney Griner has registered 429 career blocked shots and needs 18 more rejections to break Oklahoma's Courtney Paris' Big 12 record of 446.
Baylor hasn't allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent from the field in 181 straight games, dating back to March 25, 2006.
Brittney Griner ranks No. 8 on BU's career scoring chart with 1,667 points.
Baylor is the only school to have its women's basketball (No. 1), men's basketball (No. 7) and football (No. 19) teams ranked among the AP Top 25.
The Lady Bears are 45-4 over their last 49 games.
BU is bidding for its first 8-0 start since 2005-06 and just the sixth such opening in school history.
SCOUTING THE GOPHERS
Located in Minneapolis, Minn., the Minnesota Gophers enter the game with a 4-4 record after wins over Arkansas (68-60), Binghamton (65-40), North Dakota State (80-41) and Virginia Tech (65-64). The Gophers' losses came vs. Florida State (68-56), USF (60-52), Quinnipiac (64-62) and Wake Forest (82-65).
Kiara Burford, a 5-11 senior guard, leads the team in scoring at 13.1 points an outing while Rachel Banham, a 5-9 freshman guard, manages 11.6 a game and the team's leading rebounder, Katie Loberg, a 6-4 junior forward, scores 11.0 and hauls down 8.3 rebounds a contest.
The Gophers are coached by 10th-year head coach Pam Borton. Borton is 181-112 (.640) in her 10 years along the Minnesota sideline and 250-158 in 14 seasons as a head coach.
VS. THE BIG TEN
Baylor is 17-11 vs. Big Ten Conference teams. That series mark includes a 10-6 mark against former Big 12 foe, Nebraska, now in its first season as a Big Ten Conference member.
BIG 12/BIG TEN CHALLENGE
The inter-conference series began in 2010 and features a home-and-home format over a two-year agreement. Texas Tech will represent the Big 12 in two games while Big Ten member Nebraska will sit out in 2011 due to the uneven number of teams among the two leagues.
In the 2011 Challenge the Big 12 will have six home games while the Big Ten has five home contests in 2011.
Matchups for 2011 are: Baylor at Minnesota, Iowa State at Michigan, Wisconsin at Kansas; Iowa at Kansas State; Northwestern at Missouri; Ohio State at Oklahoma; Penn State at Texas Tech; Texas A&M at Purdue; Oklahoma State at Indiana; Michigan State at Texas; Texas Tech vs. Illinois (in Chicago).
LADY BEARS GET DEFENSIVE
Baylor hasn't allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent from the field in 181 straight games, dating back to March 25, 2006, an 82-63 Sweet 16 loss to eventual national champion Maryland.
In 2010-11, BU held 14 of its 37 opponents to below a .300 field goal percentage.
This season, BU has held its opponents, including three ranked foes, to a .282 field goal percentage.
Baylor ranks No. 1 in NCAA Division I statistics in field goal percentage defense (.282).
THE GRINER EFFECT
With Brittney Griner's 6-8 presence in the paint and her ability to block shots, BU's opponents have increased their 3- point shot attempts since her arrival. In 2008-09, the year before Griner came to Baylor, BU opponents took 570 shots from beyond the arc, in 2009-10 foes took 740 treys and they took 750 last season.
So far this season, BU opponents have taken 127 (21.2 per game) shots beyond the arc.
While the Lady Bears are known for their gritty defense, they can also score the basketball, as evidenced by their 2010-11 scoring average of 79.0 points per game, which ranked as the program's highest since a school-record 89.9 average over 41 games in 1977-78.
LADY BEARS LOVE THE 70s & 80s
Baylor was 27-0 a year ago and is 7-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points and has now won 84 straight such games since a 78-72 overtime loss at North Carolina State in the 2nd Round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament at Raleigh, N.C. The Lady Bears also have a string of 88 consecutive victories, including a 6-0 record in 2011-12, when putting 80 or more points on the scoreboard, since a 103-99 triple-overtime loss at Nebraska in 2004-05.
All-told, Baylor is 226-13 (.946) under Kim Mulkey when scoring 70 or more points, including a 146-3 (.980) record when
totaling 80 or more. The Lady Bears have averaged 70.4 or more points in 11 of Mulkey's 12 seasons along the BU sideline.