The Baylor Lady Bears put the finishing touches on their 10th Big 12 Tournament Championship Monday night after a battle with a feisty Iowa State team.
The game was tied late in the 4th quarter, and the Cyclones were within four points at the start of the 4th quarter. From there, Baylor flexed their muscle outscoring Iowa State 19-5 down the stretch. five of the Lady Bears last seven opponents came against projected tournament, experiences this team can benefit from once they get into the big dance.
“It’s good,” Head Coach Kim Mulkey said. “We’ve had a bunch of those. Look at the last of our schedule this year. Three of the last four games were teams that were vying or fighting for second place in the league, so it of wasn’t like the hard part of our schedule was played early. I think that will only help us down the stretch.”
Senior Kalani Brown won her third Big 12 Tournament Championship on Monday night and that trophy was a big step towards brining home the ultimate trophy in early April.
“We set goals in the beginning of the season,” Brown said. “This was pretty much the final little mini goal before we make our run for the NCAA Tournament. So I think that’s the only thing we haven’t checked off our list is the Final Four, and if anything, winning tonight should make our team more focused.”
Baylor’s dominance is unrivaled in Big 12 history, and ranks among the best in the country since Mulkey arrived in Waco. Capturing her 20th combined (Regular season and Big 12 Tournament) she allowed her self to reflect on what a big accomplishment that is for this Baylor program.
“Actually it did today,” Mulkey said when asked if the magnitude of their dominance hit her. “I don’t know why. I don’t know somebody just talking to me before the game and just said, Coach, do you realize y’all have played in 13 of these championship games; and I said, no, I didn’t know that. I’ve only been at Baylor 19 years. I said, I didn’t know that. And that person said you’ve won 10 of ’em if you win today. That’s pretty remarkable. I can’t say enough about the Baylor fans today. They were loud and proud. They were here. Gotta keep doing it.”
The Lady Bears will find out who they will have to do “Keep doing it”, against on Monday March 18th when the NCAA reveals the full 64-team bracket.