The second-ranked Baylor Lady Bears open their 43rd season of competition on Friday, Nov. 11 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) against Houston Baptist inside the Ferrell Center. It is a doubleheader with the Baylor men’s basketball team, which tips off against Oral Roberts at 6 p.m.
Seventeenth-year head coach Kim Mulkey, who ranks second among active head coaches with an .837 winning percentage, returns 10 players from last year’s 36-2 squad that won Big 12 regular season and tournament crowns for the sixth season in a row. Four starters are back from last year’s NCAA Championship Elite Eight team, including two-time All-American forward Nina Davis, honorable mention All-American guard Alexis Jones, junior guard Kristy Wallace and sophomore post Beatrice Mompremier.
Davis averaged a team-high 16.3 points per game and shared the team lead with Mompremier with 6.1 rebounds per contest last season. Jones averaged 15 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game in her first season as a Lady Bear. Wallace averaged 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 asssists per game.
Baylor bolstered its roster, adding the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2016, comprised of No. 1 Lauren Cox, No. 8 Natalie Chou and No. 40 Calveion Landrum. The trio, along with redshirt freshman Alexandria Gulley, will be available to make their regular season collegiate debuts Friday.
Led by head coach Donna Finnie, Houston Baptist posted a 14-15 record last year and finished fifth in the Southland Conference with a 9-9 mark. The Huskies have one of the youngest rosters in the country with a roster comprised of eight freshmen, seven sophomores, no juniors and one senior. Houston Baptist lost 67.4 percent of its offense and 68.9 percent of its rebounding efforts from last season.
Baylor in Season Openers…
Baylor is 34-8 (.810) all-time in season openers, 14-2 (.875) under head coach Kim Mulkey. The Lady Bears are 24-2 (.923) in Ferrell Center home openers, 16-0 under Mulkey.
Friday is Miltary Appreciation Night inside the Ferrell Center. All current and former members of the military and their families can attend the game free of charge. Tickets are good for both the women’s and men’s basketball games. There is also a giveaway of 2,500 schedule koozies.
The Lady Bears lead Houston Baptist, 1-0, all-time. The lone meeting took place on Dec. 15, 2013, in Waco, Texas. No. 9 Baylor defeated the Huskies, 100-57.