Baylor Press Release:
“SHOWDOWN ON THE REZ” SEES FIERCE COMEBACK, NAVAJO CULTURE AND VETERAN’S DAY CELEBRATION
A Veteran’s Day celebration on the Navajo Reservation in Fort Defiance, Ariz. was highlighted by Baylor’s comeback win at No. 23 Arizona State Sunday. ESPN2, Arizona State, Window Rock High School and Navajo Nation played great hosts with many opportunities for the nation to see the Navajo’s love for basketball. Both Kim Mulkey and ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne were presented with Navajo robes pregame, ESPN2 made an impressive pregame video narrated by former Navajo Nation President, Peterson Zah and veteran pictures of relatives from both programs were played in a montage at halftime. The Lady Bears started slow, trailed by as many as 14 and faced an 11-point halftime deficit before storming back in the second half to win by six, highlighted by a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter and freshman NaLyssa Smith’s 16 points and 11 rebounds.
SOUTHERN IN SHORT
The Jaguars are 2-1 on the season after a win over D3 Millsaps College (71-36) Nov. 6 and NAIA Wiley College (89-58) Nov. 8. Southern then took on the first of two Power 5 schools falling at Kentucky 91-41 Sunday. Brittany Rose’s 11.7 points per game lead Southern through three games, and the Jaguars are coached by first-year head coach Carlos Funchess.
BAYLOR SIGNS TOP-10 PROSPECT OLIVER AS LONE ADDITION TO 2019 SIGNING CLASS
A year after signing five players and accepting a graduate transfer, Jordyn Oliver gets all the Lady Bears’ attention this season as the No. 10-ranked national prospect (Collegiate Girls Basketball Report) signed with Baylor. Oliver, a Prosper, Texas native is a 3-time TABC All-State selection, and was also ranked No. 11 by ESPN Hoopgurlz.
LADY BEARS ON THE RUN
Tuesday vs. Nicholls, Baylor began the contest with a 24-0 run and then collected a 20-0 run beginning early in the third quarter. Thursday, for the third time, the Lady Bears put up a huge run, this time a 27-0 that spanned with the last 25 points of the first quarter and the first two of the second before the Red Flash stopped the run. Baylor narrowly missed its fourth 20+ streak in the second half with an 18-0 run. The Lady Bears pieced together a 12-0 run to begin the fourth quarter at Arizona State Nov. 11, which helped the Lady Bears complete a comeback where they trailed by as many as 14 in the first half. Baylor has outscored its opponents 68-6 on the fast break thus far this season.
LADY BEARS AVERAGE 108 POINTS IN FIRST TWO HOME WINS OVER NICHOLLS AND SAINT FRANCIS
Baylor’s scoreboard operator in Waco was busy the first two contests of the season as the Lady Bears put up 100 points on Nicholls (39) in the opener and tied the program’s fifth-highest scoring total with a 116-58 win over Saint Francis Thursday. 108 points over two games all while shooting .634 from the floor and keeping opponents to a .258 clip. Four Baylor Bears are averaging double figures with Kalani Brown leading the way at 16.7 points per game and freshman NaLyssa Smith averaging 15.7 in the young season.
MULKEY’S MIDAS TOUCH: 1,100 WINS
Everything head coach Kim Mulkey touches doesn’t necessarily turn to gold, but if it has to do with college basketball, nearly everything she touches results in a win. Baylor’s win vs. Nicholls (Nov. 6) gave Mulkey 1,100 wins combined as a collegiate player (130, La. Tech), assistant coach (430, La. Tech) & head coach (540, Baylor). In those capacities, Mulkey’s teams are a combined 1,100-192 for an astounding .851 winning percentage.
EIGHT PUBLICATIONS ADD BAYLOR AS A TOP-FIVE PROGRAM IN THE PRESEASON
Baylor received eight preseason top-5 national rankings with Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball checking the Lady Bears in Monday at No. 5. Baylor’s highest ranking came from SlamOnline.com at No. 2, Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview had Baylor at No. 3, the Associated Press and Street & Smith’s Basketball Yearbook had the Lady Bears at No. 4 and Lindy’s Sports College Basketball and the USA Today/WBCA Preseason Top 25 and ESPNW had the Lady Bears at No. 5. Baylor was also picked to repeat as Big 12 champions in the league’s preseason poll.
WOODEN AWARD TABS BOTH BROWN & COX, TWIN TOWERS CONTINUE TO BRING IN PRESEASON ACCOLADES
Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox garnered recognition from several voting entities for the upcoming season. The John Wooden Award selected both players to the Top 30 Watch List for its annual All-American team and Most Outstanding Player award. Baylor was one of six schools along with Notre Dame, UConn, Mississippi State, Oregon and Stanford to have multiple players on the list.
The senior, Brown, and junior Cox have been tabbed by many as the best post combo in the nation, and the pair has combined for six preseason All-America honors with Brown taking home four and Cox a pair. Brown was a first-team selection by the Associated Press, Athlon, Street & Smith’s and Lindy’s Sports while Cox earned second-team nods from Athlon and Street & Smith’s.
Both players were selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 team and Brown was selected to repeat as Big 12 Player of the Year. Brown is also on the WBCA’s Lisa Leslie Award Watch List for the nation’s top center while Cox is on the Katrina McCalin Award Watch List for top power forward.
JACKSON, LANDRUM THRIVING AT POINT GUARD OUT OF POSITION
Head Coach Kim Mulkey said at the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tipoff Oct. 16 that she had never entered a season without knowing who her point guard would be. Through three games with Chloe Jackson and Juicy Landrum both starting in the backcourt, the pair has done well despite both being true shooting guards.
Landrum leads the team with 17 assists (5.6 p/g) and just eight turnovers while Jackson has 16, and nine respectively. As a team the Lady Bears have 81 assists and 47 turnovers.
FIERCE FIVE: FISH EAGER TO MAKE MARK AFTER SELECTION AS NO. 1 RECRUITING CLASS
For the second time in program history, the Baylor women’s basketball team signed the nation’s top recruiting class and the “Fierce Five” freshmen are three games deep into 2018-19. Caitlin Bickle, Aquira DeCosta, Queen Egbo, Honesty Scott-Grayson and NaLyssa Smith all signed with the Lady Bears and all were ranked in the Top 30 overall by ESPN Hoopgurlz and boasted a five-star rating. Acosta is the only player who hasn’t seen action after suffering a minor toe injury in an exhibition game with Langston Oct. 26. Smith is shining brightest through the first three games averaging 15.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest while picking up the Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Week award Nov 12.
LADY BEARS’ NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE HAS FOUR FROM PRESEASON TOP 25
Arizona State will be the first of four preseason Top 25 teams on the Lady Bears’ schedule this season. After the Sun Devils, Baylor plays at No. 10/11 South Carolina Dec. 2, at No. 7/7 Stanford Dec. 15, and plays host to No. 2/2 UConn Jan. 3 in Waco.