No. 4 Baylor Lady Bears basketball is on the road today in Knoxville, Tennessee where they will take on the No. 22 Tennessee Lady Vols at 1:00 p.m. CT in Thompson-Boling Arena.
The game will be televised by ESPN2, but fans can also catch all of the action online through WatchESPN. Visit WatchESPN.com or download the WatchESPN app to view the game on a computer or mobile device. Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Doris Burke (analyst) will call the action.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Lady Bears Rick May and Lori Fogleman describe the action on the Baylor All-Access IMG Sports Network beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT.
Today’s matchup is the Lady Bears fourth against a ranked opponent this year and the Lady Vols first.
The Lady Bears’ starters will in all likelihood be Nina Davis, Alexis Jones, Beatrice Mompremier, Kristi Wallace and Alexis Prince but don’t be surprised to see Coach Kim Mulkey pull them all within minutes of the start of the game. Through the first nine games of the season, the entire Lady Bears bench has seen a regular rotation into the games developing the Lady Bears into one of the deepest teams in the league, despite being one of the biggest.
“To say this game is going to be a challenge — it absolutely is for us,” UT head coach Holly Warlick said Saturday morning. “We have to be the most disciplined, the most together that we’ve been to date since we started playing.”
“They’re strong inside, strong outside. I think they’re one of the most complete teams in the country and solid at every position,” Warlick said. “Yes, they are big, but you are concerned because they can hit the 3. So you pick your poison in what you want to take away, but their inside is playing really, really well.”
“They are scoring a lot in transition and they’re scoring a lot in second-chance points, so you have to stop their transition and you have to put a body on them and box out — something we have not been: consistent,” Warlick said.
The Lady Bears are 8-1 on the season while the Lady Vols are 4-2.
Look for Lady Vol Jamie Nared to come at the Lady Bears with both an inside and outside game being able to shoot the three and attack through to the board. Through six games the Lady Vols have yet to settle on complete starting favorites but expect to see Shaquilla Nunn, Mercedes Russell, Jamie Nared, Diamond DeShields, Meme Jackson, Kortney Dunbar and Alexa Middleton to each get significant playing time. Six of these seven each had double digits stats in last week’s romp over the Tennessee State Lady Tigers.
Look for this game to be competitive for about as long as it takes the Lady Bears to put in the starters for the second time. Unless the Lady Vols can figure out a way to keep the Lady Bears’ starters on the floor, the Lady Bears’ depth off the bench should prove to be too much for the Lady Vols to overcome.
Baylor Lady Bear Natalie Chou
Natalie Chou can't help the comparisons to Linsanity as she attempts to shatter stereotypes. From pro-style workouts with Jason Terry to navigating her first year at Baylor, this is her story. From ESPN Women’s College Basketball dot com.
Natalie Chou is a rare sight indeed -- a 6-foot-1 Chinese American female basketball player with McDonald's All American credentials, now a freshman for the No. 4 Baylor Bears.
There are so few female Asian American players at this elite level that the No. 8 recruit in the country has been dubbed by some Chinese media outlets as the female Jeremy Lin. It's a label that likely has more to do with her ethnicity and potential than her actual playing style, but still one she wholeheartedly embraces.
Lin is familiar with the Baylor freshman. And like Lin, Chou wants to be a role model for the Asian community and perhaps one day spark a new generation of Asian female basketball players.
"I think she will carve out her own nickname and her own lane once people see her," Terry said. "She is not as flashy as Jeremy, but her fundamentals, the way she plays the game is pure and only will continue to get better.
"I don't know how many Asian Americans have been in the WNBA," Terry added, "not only at Baylor but beyond, she will make her mark in history."