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WBB Game Preview (and Game Thread): No. 2 Baylor Lady Bears vs. No. 12 Texas Longhorns

No. 2 Lady Bears vs. No. 12 Lady Longhorns, Tonight, 7:00 p.m. CT, Ferrell Center.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 2 Baylor Lady Bears take on the No. 12 Texas Longhorns today in women’s basketball inside the Ferrell Center this evening at 7:00 p.m. CT.

How to Watch

Option No. 1: Purchase tickets online and enjoy the game in person at the Ferrell Center.

Option No. 2: The game can be watched on Fox Sports 1. Live audio is also available on the Baylor Sports Network, IMG College. Rick May (play-by-play) and Lori Fogelman (analyst) are on the call.

Famous OBF Quote: “This Lady Bear team is touted as one of the best, if not the best, Kim Mulkey team to date. There are only three regular season home games remaining plus Rounds 1 & 2 of the NCAA Tournament to be held in the Ferrell Center. Get your tickets now and don’t miss a single opportunity to see and support our Lady Bears in fierce competition.”

About the Lady Longhorns

The Longhorns are 18-4, having lost only to Top 11 basketball teams Stanford, Mississippi State, South Carolina and UConn. Like Baylor, they are undefeated in Big XII conference play. If there is a game to be at this season, this is the one.

The longhorns are on a 16 game win streak. The last time they lost a game was to UConn. (The last game the Lady Bears lost was to UConn.)

The Texas Longhorns Women’s Basketball team pulled out a close win over Kansas State on Saturday night. From Fox Sports.

Texas needed a strong finish from freshman sensation Joyner Holmes to beat Kansas State 63-58 in Austin. This extended the Longhorns’ winning streak to 16 overall and 12 in a row to start Big 12 play.

Now, the first Texas vs. Baylor matchup is finally here. It’s 12-0 vs. 12-0 on Monday night to decide first place in the Big 12 conference.

Continue Reading . . .

About the Lady Bears

The Baylor Lady Bears are on a 21 game win streak and looking for win no. 22. Here’s what opposing coaches are saying about the Lady Bears:

Houston Baptist Head Coach Donna Finnie

On playing Baylor...

"We knew coming into this game that they are obviously a super talented team. I told Coach Mulkey at the end there that we're excited to see them at the end in Dallas this year, because they’re going to be a tremendous force. I think with the additions that they have of their freshmen, like the stretch Natalie Chou had at the end was really, really good, and we struggled because we gave her open looks and she did a good job of reading our defense and attacking the rim. Lauren Cox is obviously a very talented big. I think those two in particular really help them with their rotations."

On matching up on defense...

"I think going into the game we were telling our kids that we have to be aggressive, we have to attack, but we're not used to seeing that size on ball pressure. Alexis Prince is so big that our guards on the wings couldn't see the next pass, which is not something we'll really face in our conference, but we knew coming in it would be an issue today. Obviously, they have some great talent out there in the post. For our kids it was a great opportunity."

UCLA Head Coach Cori Close

On matching up with Baylor …

"Credit to Baylor. Their experience, depth on the inside, their purpose in the second half – they out-toughed us in the second half both on the rebounds and their game planning. They knew exactly who they wanted to get touches for, and they were relentless about doing that. I thought Alexis Jones did a great job at controlling the ball and getting late shot clock opportunities for the team. Obviously, Kalani Brown was a handful, and she deserves a lot of credit. I’m very proud of my team. All the credit to Baylor. They showed great experience and poise. I hope we get to play them again."

Southeastern Louisiana Head Coach Errol Gauff

On takeaways from the game…

"I thought it was a great opportunity for our university and for our team to come play a team of this magnitude. We knew it would be a difficult task.

On this Baylor Team…

"Coach Mulkey has done an incredible job through her tenure here and I would be shocked if this team was not playing in the Final Four in Dallas later this year. They have all the parts. They have experience. They have perimeter play and they definitely have size and then they have subs to go along with that. It is a well-balanced team. We knew the size was going to be tough for us to deal with."

Kent State

"We were just proud of the opportunity to play against a team like Baylor and compete at the highest level," Kent State coach Todd Starkey said.

Ohio State

''Hey, they've got a really good basketball team,'' Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. ''Credit to them. We didn't have our best day in large part due to them. I thought we played hard, but we just didn't execute well enough.''

Abilene Christian Head Coach Julie Goodenough

On takeaways from the game…

"We wanted our team to approach this challenge fearlessly. We had some goals set for this game that we accomplished tonight. Our opponents executed well with our game strategy. There were so many obstacles that we couldn’t overcome and with the size of Baylor, we didn’t have an answer for that. For the most part, our players gave their best effort and tried to execute the way we felt would put us in the best position. We appreciate the opportunity to play at Baylor and have so much respect for this program and for Kim and what she’s done here. We’ve been telling the girls that this is maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a team that we feel like will be in the Final Four in the spring and it’s something you don’t get to do very much when you’re a mid-major school so we’re very thankful for the opportunity. We have a lot of respect for the program and the players that Coach Mulkey’s staff has brought in. They’re tremendous players, some of the best players in the country and so it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to get to play against them."

"They have such great scoring weapons in every position. Their size inside and on the perimeter is a huge asset. I know they got beat by UConn and I predict when they face UConn again in the playoffs it will be a different story. I think this team will continue growing together. They’ve got some great freshmen that just need experience. They’ll add a lot especially on the offensive end, so it looks like a Final Four team to me."

Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick

"We've got players that are underachieving. We're just underachieving and we're not playing hard. I don't know. Honestly, I don't have an answer. (Baylor) looked a lot better prepared than the Lady Vols."

"They've got to go down swinging. They've got to carry a big stick. We're carrying a little twig right now, and that ain't working."

Texas State Head Coach Zenarae Antoine

On staying close in the first quarter…

"The one thing that Baylor does well is knock down shots early. We forced reversals. We forced them to move the ball and to go ahead and take an initial shot. We just struggled with the putbacks and the rebounding piece of it. As far as executing and what we plan to do for that – it’s to not allow shots in the paint with their initial shots. We did a good job of executing that, and I’m proud of my kids for that."

On Baylor’s size and speed…

"It’s difficult. To me, this is a Final Four team. I think they’re moving in the right direction for sure. I think the one thing that you have to do is play a little bit outside of yourself in a positive way, and sometimes you find that extra energy, that burst of speed to be able to go ahead initially – shot’s going up and being able to push (Baylor) back under the rim. Those types of things are really important, and then our guards can snatch those rebounds versus their bigs. That’s what we have to continue to work on because that’s an Achilles heel, regardless of what we need to work on."

On struggling offensively…

"The disappointing piece is that we got to Texas State shots, and those are shots that we generally knock down. To only score five points in one half was really, really tough largely because we pride ourselves on signing kids who can put the ball in the hole. They struggled tonight. The tough part is that a team like this, when it’s not falling, is figuring it out on the defensive end. It’s tough against a team that executes so well, and their eyes are on something bigger."

Winthrop Head Coach Kevin Cook

Opening statement …

"Well, what do you say after a game like that? Baylor has a phenomenal program. Kim (Mulkey) is an outstanding coach. She’s surrounded herself with an excellent staff. We’ve played some highly ranked teams this season, and by far Baylor is right at the top. You saw the game. You’ve seen the stats. They hurt us inside. They hurt us on the three-pointers. They’re awfully good."

On facing Baylor …

"First off, you need to sprint back because they’re good in transition. You’ve got to pick your poison, and we didn’t pick any. We got hurt inside. We got hurt outside. I’ll be watching this group in the Final Four."

Kansas State Head Coach Jeff Mittie

Opening statement …

"Well, I really thought early we were really getting to the free throw line off the bounce, and then I thought (Baylor) had better discipline after that. We kind of became a little stagnant at times. Then, I think just their physicality began to wear on us. That’s not a five-minute deal. The physicality starts to wear on you. I think your training starts to rest a little bit at the offensive end. We had good movement early, but I thought we got fatigued at times. I think Baylor’s one of the most physical teams in the country. They combine size with strength with athleticism, all of the above."

On Kalani Brown

"She’s made great improvements from a year ago. She plays with much better leverage than a year ago. Like a lot of posts, you knew that both her and (Beatrice) Mompremier last year were put right in the fire right away and played a lot of minutes and games, and they would come back this year and make great improvements. Certainly, (Kalani) Brown I think had made tremendous improvements. We could not keep her off the glass, particularly in the first half."

Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider

On struggling against Baylor ...

"I think it's their depth. Their six through 12 (players) are as good as anybody else. I think you have to go to your bench and play so many different styles because of their personnel groupings. I thought we showed some fight in the first quarter, but eventually their ability to rebound and get out in transition really wears on you, and then when you get behind sometimes you try to shoot your way back into a game instead of executing back into the game, and that works right into their hands. Now, the ball is coming off the rim on long rebounds and they're right back into their transition game."

On the Kansas offense ...

"Right now, we just have to get more guys to make shots. I think Baylor was really good defensively, but I also thought we missed a lot of really good looks that we're counting on our guys to step up and make. I think they have one of the top front lines in the country, and that's not our strength. We still have a lot of room for improvement and development in our program in that area, so those are not good matchups for us at the four and five positions."

On facing Baylor's post players ...

"You think about Kentucky's men's team a couple of years ago when you felt like they could just build a tent over the lane and protect the rim, and that's a little bit what it's like playing these guys. We got a few free throws in the first quarter, and after that we had a hard time even drawing a foul because of their size."

"In my opinion, and I think as you talk to my counterparts around the Big 12, there's a lot of people that believe that this is the best Baylor team that Coach Mulkey and her staff have assembled, and that's saying a lot because they've won some national championships. I think that they're obviously a Final Four favorite-caliber team."

West Virginia Head Coach Mike Carey

Opening statement:

"Give Baylor credit they're the real deal. I watched a lot of games on TV of other conferences and I think they have as much talent as anybody in the country, if not more, so give them a lot of credit they keep throwing players at you. Can't get out rebounded by 30, give up 22 offensive rebounds. It is what it is, people aren't playing, I don't have a bench to put in and I have to put up with it. That's probably the most frustrating thing right now for me. I have to put up with people not playing hard because I don't have anyone to put in."

On Baylor offensive rebounding:

"It's lack of concentration and lack of effort. I thought Lanay Montgomery went at their post, I was happy to see that. I thought Chania Ray competed and I thought at times Teana (Muldrow) competed. But, even when we boxed out their post, their guards were getting off and our guards stood there letting them get offensive rebounds. It's just amazing to me. Looks like we don't coach them at all. I guess all of a sudden I'm a bad coach this year, it's amazing. What we have always had in the past, if they don't want to play hard put somebody in. Got another person sitting on the bench that will play hard, don't have that."

On which end of the floor was more frustrating:

"Both ends were frustrating to me. We wouldn't come off picks. We'd drive the ball instead of kicking it out and the people would get out of line for wide open shots. It's amazing, just amazing to me and like I told them after the game they didn't do one thing we didn't tell them they were going to do or work on in practice. It's just wanting to do it player against player and having a little bit of heart. Give Baylor credit they just keep bring players in, they have done a hell of a job recruiting."

Oklahoma State Head Coach Jim Littell

I'm embarrassed the way we competed in this basketball game," Cowgirls coach Jim Littell said. "I thought we competed for 15-18 minutes and when you play the No. 2 team in the country, the end result will be a 36-point defeat."

"We got a lot to fix. No mystery, we can't throw the kind of talent level out there Baylor did and if that's the case, you better have a lot of fight in you, and that's the thing that I'm most disappointed with," he said.

TCU Head Coach Raegan Pebley

Opening statement…

"Baylor’s really good. They’re a really, really good team and I think this is one of their better teams. I’m really proud of our team’s fight and I feel like we’ve really grown. I was really proud of our team and how we competed and really just stuck to a game plan, and you know, Baylor’s going to be a really tough team for anybody in our conference to beat. But you throw the ball up for a reason and I know that our team believed and we’re going to continue to press forward and keep getting better."

On tying Baylor in rebounds…

"I know they’ve out-rebounded multiple teams this year by 30, so you do have to pick your poison but I think with every single defense you do have to choose what shot you’re willing to give up. We had lapses, we had some mistakes but for the most part, I think we were consistent in executing that game plan."

ISU Head Coach Bill Fennelly

Opening statement…

"You guys probably get tired of writing the same stuff on the opposing coaches, don’t you? We almost did a Spurs thing and left Bridget [Carleton] and Jadda [Buckley] and rested them. I think they’re bigger than our men’s team. They’re great, they’re well-coached. I was proud of our effort, that’s by far the best team we’ve played, it’s not even close. I’m sure it will be a UConn-Baylor final in Dallas, which will be great for the sport. I will say that Jadda and Bridget could have played for Baylor tonight, that’s how good they were. It just keeps going here, doesn’t it?"

On how this year’s Baylor team ranks…

"Last night when you’re sitting in your hotel room and you can’t sleep because if you go to sleep you’re going to have nightmares about what you’re playing and if you lay there and keep watching video, you’re never going to sleep. I told my wife that this reminds me of their championship team, and again, that was a great team, but there’s nothing they don’t have. You got size, you got depth, you got great experience, people know their roles, they play their roles, they defend, I don’t know what they don’t have that would prevent you from saying they’re going to be there in the end. I think they’re going to be one of those teams that will certainly have a great chance to be there in the end."

On how Baylor got away…

"If you look at the Baylor history and you put highlight tapes together for your team and you see a score and it’s 18-15 and 15-12 and the next highlight it’s 42-21. You just walk in to a haymaker and for us to stay in there, we had some wide open shots because we got lucky and ran some stuff but you’ve got to make them. We missed a couple layups, we missed a couple threes, and because they’re so good defensively, you rush things, so you know it’s coming. To be honest with you, our team has struggled to compete for 40 minutes and what I told them before the game is probably right now the scoreboard is turned off in there and no one’s going to remember, but they’re going to remember is that you showed up and competed. It’s about life, it’s about doing the right thing, so I think we competed and certainly Bridget and Jadda competed hard. We’re like everybody else, just the next victim."

West Virginia Head Coach Mike Carey

On difference between this game and the game in West Virginia…

"We played hard. It’s a shame. I told the players after the game here, ‘I’m disappointed. We are expected to win, alright?’ We just didn’t execute, they executed better than we did down the stretch, but we played hard. We have had several games where we haven’t played hard, and it’s a shame because you saw at times we can be as good as anybody and we’ve just got to continue to play hard."

On takeaways from this game…

"Well, we wanted to beat them. We don’t take nothing from it other than we didn’t execute down the stretch and gave up about three or four offensive rebounds that cost us and we missed a couple layups. I think we had an opportunity, but again, give Baylor a lot of credit. They executed better than we did down the stretch, they really did.

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale

On what Baylor did to take over in 2nd quarter...

"We missed quite a few layups and took the wind out of our sails, and gave them a window to attack, and they do that very well, and I think that sends a message sometimes, when you miss easy layups. It's not just the layup, but Baylor does a really good job of sensing when you're nervous or if you're scared, and I think they did a really good job of attacking at that point. Still, at halftime, I felt like we were in great shape. You just can't beat anyone in this league shooting the way we did in the second half. We were 1-for-14 from three, I think. You can't win games doing that."

On how this Baylor team compares to past teams...

"Definitely, because of the waves they come at you with. No matter how physical it is on the inside, they've got another one coming that's just as physical on the inside. Most of us don't have that many guys with that much size and athleticism to balance that with."

On what to take from the game...

"We did a lot of really good stuff. I take away a lot of really good things. I thought our spacing was fantastic early in the game. We were anchored and attentive to the game plan. We were really, really good to start. I just think you get hit with a punch, and when you're reeling a little bit, they've got another wave to send in and hit you with. Our little freshmen Chelsea and Nancy didn't handle it very well, but they'll handle it better next time we play them. I just think our team is learning and growing and getting better."

On Alexis Jones' triple double...

"She's fantastic. I feel like we were her coming out party in her first year here at Baylor. She has been tremendous every time we've played them. She understands big games and rises to the challenge."

Texas Tech Head Coach Candi Whitaker

On hanging with Baylor . . .

"I liked the mentality that I saw from them in regards to it wasn't, 'Oh, no, we're playing Baylor," Whitaker said. "It was more of: 'Let's go. Let's compete.' I just think that's why we started well. I think that's why we hung with (Baylor) in the first half."

On getting beat . . .

"I think it's the depth that they have -- that they can wear you down. We were struggling getting back in that span. We were struggling to make shots in that span. And then I think we took a lot of quick shots. Which again, put (Baylor) in transition."