Lady Bears win 9th straight (!!!) Big 12 title
As Baylor women’s basketball has dominated the Big 12 in recent years, many of the team’s conference titles have been hard fought — leagues won by a narrow margin, clinched in games against similarly top-ranked opponents decided by just a few points.
This was not one of those.
Wednesday night, head coach Kim Mulkey’s team ran away with its ninth straight Big 12 regular season title, defeating Kansas 80-40 to increase the Lady Bears’ lead over second-place Texas to four games. That four-game margin wouldn’t be the biggest in league history — Baylor won the conference by an astounding seven games in 2011-12, and by six games a year later — but just 14 games into the league schedule, it is the second-fastest the team has ever clinched a Big 12 title.
It’s difficult to grasp just how impressive nine straight league championships is, so let’s put the Lady Bears’ run in perspective:
- The streak of nine straight Big 12 regular season titles ties Baylor for the 10th longest such streak in Division I women’s basketball history.
- Only one other Big 12 team, in any sport, has ever won more consecutive regular season championships (Kansas men’s basketball).
- Senior Kalani Brown (who on Wednesday became the sixth Lady Bear ever to score 2,000 career points and pull down 1,000 career rebounds) will graduate knowing nothing but conference championships — the sixth straight year Baylor’s seniors could say that.
- True freshmen NaLyssa Smith, Honesty Scott-Grayson, Aquira DeCosta, Queen Egbo and Caitlin Bickle (who combined for 16 points and 6 rebounds Wednesday night) were in 4th grade the last time the Lady Bears didn’t win the Big 12.
— Baylor Lady Bears (@BaylorWBB) February 21, 2019
The No. 1-ranked Lady Bears are now 24-1 on the season, and 14-0 in conference, with games remaining at home against No. 19 Texas and Oklahoma State and on the road versus No. 20 Iowa State and West Virginia.
After that? The Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, where Baylor will look to sweep the regular season and tournament titles for the eight time in nine years. After that comes Selection Monday, when the Lady Bears will learn what their path to a national title could look like.
Sic ’em, Lady Bears!