Conference play in the Big 12 begins this weekend with six games in two days. Baylor, the No. 1 ranked team in the country, hosts Iowa State Saturday in a game that kicks off the action at 11 a.m. CT. The matchup will be televised on Fox Sports.
Baylor hopes to get revenge on Iowa State from last year. The teams last met on February 13, 2010, when the 20th-ranked Cyclones posted a 69-45 home victory over the 11th-ranked Lady Bears.
Overall, five teams in the Big 12 are ranked in this weekâ€™s Associated Press Poll.
Baylor is the second Big 12 institution to earn a No. 1 rating in the AP Poll. Texas was ranked No. 1 for two weeks during the 2004 season in the February 9 and 16 polls. Every Big 12 team will complete the non-conference portion of its schedule with a winning record for the fourth consecutive season. The Big 12 is 133-30 in non-conference games and continues to lead the nation with an .816 win percentage.
Baylor has the top spot in both the Associated Press and the USA TODAY/ESPN coaches poll this week. It is the first time in program history that Baylor has occupied the top spot in the AP poll. Head coach Kim Mulkey, a former Louisiana Tech star, also makes history as the first womenâ€™s basketball coach to have also played on a number one team. She is also one of only three coaches in menâ€™s and womenâ€™s basketball, joining Bob Knight and Dean Smith, who have won a national championship as both a player and coach.
The weekend schedule (all times Central)
Saturday, January 8
Sunday, January 9
Iowa State (12-2) at Baylor (13-1)
Senior Kelsey Bolte leads Iowa State in scoring at 15.7 per game. She is among the Big 12′s top 3-point shootersÂ at 45 percent. Chelsea Poppens, a 6-7 sophomore, is averaging 8.6 points and 5-6 rebounds per game. Junior Lauren Mansfield tied for the Big 12 lead in assists, is averaging 6.7 per game.
Iowa State leads the league in average home attendance so far at 8,490 attendees per game. Baylor is second at 7,034.
The Lady Bears go into conference play with a ten-game win streak. Baylor is led by sophomore center Brittney Griner who averages 21.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game. Freshman point guard Odyssey Sims, who averages 12.4 points per game, is the team’s second-leading scorer. Baylor was the preseason pick by the coaches to win the 2011 league title.
Baylor leads the series vs. Iowa State 11-6. Mulkey is 10-3 vs. ISU. In Waco, Baylor holds a 6-1 advantage.
Colorado (9-4) at Texas A&M (12-1)
The Colorado Buffaloes are under the helm of first-year coach Linda Lappe. Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.0 points per game and eighth in rebounding at 7.7 per game.
Texas A&M senior Danielle Adams leads her team in scoring with 22.6 points per game and rebounding average at 8.2. Senior guard Sydney Colson is second in the conference in assists at 6.4 per game. Junior Sydney Carter, who shares ball handling duties with Colson, reached double figures in back-to-back games six times so far this season.
Texas Tech (13-1) at Kansas (13-1)
Fifth-year coach Kristy Curry has the Lady Raiders off to their best start overall since the 2003-04 season. Ten players for Texas Tech average at least 10 minutes per game. Kierra Mallard, a 6-3 junior forward/center, is the team’s top scorer averaging 13.7 points per game and top rebounder, 7.2 rpg.
Kansas is off to its best start since the 1993-94 season. Carolyn Davis, a 6-3 sophomore forward, has scored at least 20 points seven times and is averaging 19.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Aishah Sutherland, 11.1 points, 9.9 rebounds per game, is another inside scorer for Kansas.
Texas (11-3) at Missouri (8-6)
Texas leads the Big 12 in scoring at nearly 87 points per game. Senior Kathleen Nash is averaging 16.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Chassidy Fussell is averaging 15.8 points per game.
Missouri has a challenging schedule under first-year coach Robin Pingeton. The Tigers have lost to Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Florida State and Xavier. The Tigers are shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 27.1 percent on 3-pointers. Senior RaeShara Brown leads the Tigers with 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Junior Christine Flores is helping out with 15.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Oklahoma (10-3) at Nebraska (10-4)
Redshirt sophomore Whitney Hand, the Big 12′s freshman of the year in 2008-09 returned to action after missing 45 games with a knee injury. But TCU spoiled Handâ€™s return, defeating the Sooners 76-69 in a road game in Fort Worth on January 2. However, Hand set career highs in points and rebounds with 24 and 11, respectively. Senior guard Danielle Robinson is averaging 18 points and 6.2 assists per game. Oklahoma is third in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging nearly 84 points per game.
After a Cinderella season in 2009-10 where they went 32-2 including going undefeated in conference play during the regular season, Nebraska enters conference play unranked. Jordan Hooper, a 6-2 freshman, leads Nebraska with 15.7 points per game and is the top freshman rebounder in the Big 12 at 6.9 per game. Sophomore Lindsey Moore is averaging 10.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.
Oklahoma holds the series advantage over Nebraska, 26-23, but the Huskers have won 16 of 23 matchups in Lincoln.
Oklahoma State (12-1) at Kansas State (10-3)
Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in scoring defense. The Cowgirls are second in field goal percentage defense. Toni Young, a 6-2 sophomore forward, is averaging 15.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Freshman Vicky McIntyre, a 6-6 center, is second in scoring with 10.4 points per game.
For Kansas State, Brittany Chambers, a 5-8 sophomore point guard, is averaging 15.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while leading the Wildcats in 3-point shooting. Junior forward Jalana Childs is K-State’s second-leading scorer at 10.9 points per game and has a 4.4 rebounding average.
The all-time series between Kansas State and Oklahoma State is tied, 27-27. The Cowgirls won last seasonâ€™s meeting in Stillwater, 66-56, on Jan. 16, 2010.
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