The No. 1 Lady Bears continued their domination of the Big 12 tonight as they trampled over No. 19 Oklahoma State in an 81-62 victory.
But as she searches for her third national title, it takes more than a lopsided victory to satisfy Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey.
“I can’t look at the final score and go, ‘Wow, we won another one by 20.’ You know, I’ve got to coach,” Mulkey said. “You’re not going to win many games having 20 turnovers. You’re not going to win many basketball games when you have them getting 22 offensive boards.”
Oklahoma State was led in rebounding by guard Brittney Martin with 12. Off their 38 total rebounds, the Cowgirls scored 27 second-chance points. The 22 offensive rebounds allowed by the Lady Bears were a season high.
In addition, Baylor also gave up 20 turnovers – its most in Big 12 and tied for its second-most all season.
Baylor senior post Brittney Griner led the Lady Bears with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high seven assists. Junior guard Odyssey Sims had 15 points and nine assists.
After Oklahoma State forward Liz Donohoe’s scoop shot put the Cowgirls up 21-16, Mulkey put all five of her starters back on the floor with 10:03 left in the first half – an effective decision that led to an 18-2 run by the Lady Bears. Baylor was up by 11 at the half.
“Coach was on us about being down five,” Sims said. “We didn’t have any intensity and we didn’t have no energy. We tried our best to just pick it up.”
Without even taking the time to warm up before the start of the second half, Baylor scored the first seven points to push the lead to 44-26.
Oklahoma State scored 14 of its first 19 points in the second half off second chances, putting just enough pressure on Mulkey and her Lady Bears that the starters didn’t get much rest. Griner came out of the game once, but was back on the court less than a minute later when the Cowgirls had pulled within 13 points.
Baylor was able to come away with the large victory, but for Mulkey good is never good enough – especially during her search for a second straight national championship.
“If you’re going to be the No. 1 team in the country, then you need to play like it,” Mulkey said. “I just didn’t think that we played like it tonight.”