No. 1 Baylor hosts Lamar in season opener

Baylor's Destiny Williams and Brittney Griner strike a fun pose at 2012-13 Big 12 Media Day in late October.
Baylor’s Destiny Williams and Brittney Griner strike a fun pose at 2012-13 Big 12 Media Day in late October.
  • Lamar at No. 1 Baylor
  • Nov. 9, 2012, 1 p.m. ET
  • Waco, Texas, Ferrell Center (10,284)
  • TV: FSSW
  • Radio: ESPN Central Texas
  • Series: 7-2 Baylor

WACO, Texas — Defending national champion and top-ranked Baylor opens the 2012-13 season with the nation’s longest active win streak at 40 games. The Lady Bears host the Lamar Lady Cardinals on Fox Sports Southwest at 1 p.m. ET. This is the second year Lamar faces the defending national champion during their season opener. Last season the Lady Cardinals played Texas A&M to start the season.

Baylor returns all five starters off last season’s squad including the 2012 National Player of the Year Brittney Griner and All-Americans Odyssey Sims and Destiny Williams. Griner averaged 23.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a contest. Sims, a 5-8 guard, returns after scoring 14.9 an outing and Williams, a 6-1 forward/post, averaged 10.1 points and 9.1 rebounds a year ago. The other two returning starters, guards Kimetria Hayden and Jordan Madden, tallied 9.1 and 4.3 points a game, respectively. Brooklyn Pope, a 6-1 forward post who graduated in May 2012, came off the bench to average 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds a contest.

Also returning are junior guard Makenzie Robertson and sophomore post Sune Agbuke. Back on the court after utilizing a redshirt season is 6-2 forward/post Mariah Chandler. Four newcomers, Chardonae Fuqua’, Kristina Higgins, Niya Johnson and Alexis Prince, will add talent and depth to the roester.

Lamar is led by senior guard Kalis Loyd who tallied 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds a game as a junior. She is on the school’s top-10 all-time lists for points, rebounds, assists and steals. She enters the season with 1,431 points, just 299 behind the school-record total of 1,730 points.

Lamar, 16-15 last season, will play Baylor for the first time since 2009 when the Lady Bears posted an 87-65 victory in Waco. Sixth-year head coach Larry Tidwell, who has a 106-55 career record, served as a Lady Bear assistant coach from 1992-98 under both Pam Bowers and Sonja Hogg.

Baylor is 30-8 (.790) all-time in season openers, 10-2 (.833) under head coach Kim Mulkey. The Lady Bears are 20-2 (.909) in Ferrell Center home openers, 12-0 under Mulkey.

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