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Lady Bears dominate All-Big 12 Awards

Mulkey, Cox, Richards, Cooper & Egbo Win “Of the Year” Awards for Baylor
Posted: 4:29 PM, Mar 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-09 17:37:32-04
Mulkey named Naismith COY semifinalist

WACO, Texas — Seven members of the Baylor women’s basketball program were honored Monday when the Big 12 Conference announced its 2019-20 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Awards.

Kim Mulkey was named Coach of the Year. Lauren Cox earned Player of the Year. DiDi Richards was picked as Defensive Player of the Year. Te’a Cooper was co-Newcomer of the Year, and Queen Egbo nabbed the Sixth Person of the Year honor.

In addition, NaLyssa Smith joined Cox and Cooper on the All-Big 12 First Team, Richards was a second-team selection and Juicy Landrum earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.

Baylor’s plethora of honors came after another Big 12 regular-season championship- the Lady Bears’ 10th-consecutive title and 11th overall. Baylor carries a 28-2 record into this weekend’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship tournament in Kansas City.

For Mulkey, it was her eighth time to be named Big 12 Coach of the Year and third-straight. Mulkey reached 600 career victories faster than any other Division I coach, man or woman, this season in her 700th game. Baylor was 4-1 vs. ranked opponents, which included a win over No. 1 UConn Jan. 9, and she saw Baylor win its 58th-straight Big 12 contest in the regular season, March 5.

Cox, a senior from Flower Mound, Texas, is the sixth player from Baylor to win Big 12 Player of the Year, and it was the Lady Bears’ eighth time to have the league’s top player. Fresh off a CoSIDA Academic All-America selection, Cox added to her decorated resume with the league’s top nod. In 22 games, Cox averages 12.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.7 blocks per game.

Richards, a junior from Cypress, Texas, has had a reputation as one of the nation’s top on-ball defenders, and the Big 12 coaches honored her with Defensive Player of the Year. Last season as a sophomore, she was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and the Waco Tribune-Herald Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Her 52 steals and career-best 25 blocks this season in 30 games aided her award selection.

Richards is the fifth Lady Bear in program history to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and overall it was Baylor’s ninth time to bring home the award with Brittney Griner as a four-time winner (2010-13) and Cox, a two-time winner (2018-19). Both Richards and Cox were also members of the 2020 Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

Richards leads the Big 12 in assists (170/5.7 pg) and assists-to-turnover ratio (2.93:1) while averaging 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds and shooting 49.7 from the field. In addition to her defensive numbers, she was named to the All-Big 12 second team.

Cooper shared the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year with Oklahoma State’s Natasha Mack. Cooper averages 13.6 points, 4.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds per contest while hitting a career-best 56 3-point field goals at a personal-best 41.5 percentage from beyond the arc. Cooper, the graduate transfer from Powder Springs, Ga., is also Baylor’s leader in steals with 56, which ranks sixth in the Big 12.

Cooper is the sixth Baylor player to be honored by the Big 12 as Newcomer of the Year and the first since Alexis Jones in 2016.

Egbo, the sophomore from Houston, picked up the Big 12 Sixth Person of the Year after averaging 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks off the bench while playing just 18.5 minutes per game. Egbo was the fifth Baylor player to be honored as Sixth Person of the Year by the Big 12.

Cox was one of three league players to earn unanimous All-Big 12 First Team honors with Iowa State’s Ashley Joens and Oklahoma State’s Vivian Gray. Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith and Cooper were also first-team members. It marks the fifth time in program history and third-straight year Baylor has had three representatives on the first team.

Cox’s first-team honor is the third in her career.

Smith, a sophomore from Converse, Texas, leads Baylor in scoring at 14.3 points per game headed into the conference tournament. Smith also ranks in the Top 25 in the NCAA in field goal percentage at .586 and is second on the team with an average of 8.0 rebounds per game.

Juicy Landrum, the senior from Waco, Texas, earned honorable mention honors after averaging 10.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Landrum leads Baylor with a 42.3 percent mark from beyond the 3-point arc with 55 3-pointers made.

The Lady Bears’ five representatives on the all-conference team ties the program best and marks the third time in school history that Baylor has had five.

2019-20 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Awards

Coach of the Year: Kim Mulkey, Baylor (20th season at Baylor, 20th overall)

Player of the Year: Lauren Cox, Baylor, C, 6-4, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas

Defensive Player of the Year: DiDi Richards, Baylor, G, 6-1, Jr., Cypress, Texas

Co-Newcomer of the Year: Te’a Cooper, Baylor, G, 5-8, Gr., Powder Springs, Ga.

Co-Newcomer of the Year: Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State, F, 6-4, Jr., Lufkin, Texas

Freshman of the Year: Ayoka Lee, Kansas State, C, 6-5, Byron, Minn.

Sixth Player Award: Queen Egbo, Baylor, C, 6-3, So., Houston, Texas

** Unanimous Selection

All-Big 12 First Team (honors listed alphabetical by school)

Player School Pos Ht Cl Hometown

Lauren Cox+%** Baylor F 6-4 Sr. Flower Mound, Texas

NaLyssa Smith Baylor F 6-2 So. Converse, Texas

Te’a Cooper Baylor G 5-8 Gr. Powder Springs, Ga.

Ashley Joens** Iowa State G/F 6-0 So. Iowa City, Iowa

Ayoka Lee Kansas State C 6-5 R-Fr. Byron, Minn.

Vivian Gray%** Oklahoma State G 6-1 Jr. Argyle, Texas

Lauren Heard TCU G 5-9 Jr. Denton, Texas

Charli Collier Texas F/C 6-5 So. Mont Belvieu, Texas

Brittany Brewer Texas Tech F 6-5 Sr. Abilene, Texas

Peyton Williams% Kansas State F 6-4 Sr. Topeka, Kan.

All-Big 12 Second Team

Player School Pos Ht Cl Hometown

DiDi Richards Baylor G 6-1 Jr. Cypress, Texas

Natasha Mack Oklahoma State F 6-4 Jr. Lufkin, Texas

Kianna Ray TCU G 6-1 Sr. Austin, Texas

Sug Sutton% Texas G 5-8 Sr. St. Louis, Mo.

Tynice Martin^% West Virginia G 5-11 R-Sr. Atlanta, Ga.

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention

Juicy Landrum (Baylor), Kristin Scott (Iowa State), Angela Harris (K-State), Taylor Robertson (Oklahoma), Jayde Woods (TCU), Joyner Holmes (Texas), Chrislyn Carr (Texas Tech), Kysre Gondrezick (West Virginia), Kari Niblack (West Virginia)

** Unanimous First Team Selection (coaches cannot vote for own players, unanimous denotes voted first team by other nine coaches)

% 2018-19 All-Big 12 First Team Selection

> 2018-19 All-Big 12 Second Team Selection

+ 2017-18 All-Big 12 First Team Selection

^ 2016-17 All-Big 12 First Team Selection

Big 12 All-Defensive Team

Player School Pos Ht Cl Hometown

Lauren Cox^+** Baylor F 6-4 Sr. Flower Mound, Texas

DiDi Richards+** Baylor G 6-1 Jr. Cypress, Texas

Natasha Mack Oklahoma State F 6-4 Jr. Lufkin, Texas

Kianna Ray TCU G 6-1 Sr. Austin, Texas

Brittany Brewer Texas Tech F 6-5 Sr. Abilene, Texas

** Unanimous Selection (coaches cannot vote for own players, unanimous denotes selected for team on other nine ballots)

+ 2018-19 Big 12 All-Defensive Team Selection

^ 2017-18 Big 12 All-Defensive Team Selection

Big 12 All-Freshman Team

Player School Pos Ht Cl. Hometown

Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw Iowa State G 5-10 Fr. Indianola, Iowa

Zakiyah Franklin Kansas G 5-7 Fr. Lakeland, Fla.

Ayoka Lee** Kansas State C 6-5 R-Fr. Byron, Minn.

Gabby Gregory** Oklahoma G 6-0 Fr. Tulsa, Okla.

Celeste Taylor** Texas G 5-11 Fr. Valley Stream, N.Y.

** Unanimous Selection (coaches cannot vote for own players, unanimous denotes selected for team on other nine ballots)