After a shocking home loss to the West Virginia Lady Mountaineers last week, there were whispers in and around Waco that the rest of the league had caught up with the Baylor University Lady Bears. That setback came on the heels of a narrow win over Oklahoma, a team that the Lady Bears had crushed by 14 earlier in the month.
It seems that the reports of the team’s death have been greatly exaggerated, as the Lady Bears blew past the Iowa State Lady Cyclones 70-54. Baylor never trailed, and dominated Iowa State on the inside (second-chance points 26-5, points in the paint 42-18). Baylor also took better care of the ball this time, as Iowa State only scored five points off turnovers.
Even better for the Lady Bears, Naismith semifinalist Odyssey Sims scored just 11 points; so Baylor can win, and win big, even if she has an off night.
West Virginia and Baylor are still rather close in the overall rankings, meaning that one team will probably be exiled to another region, possibly the East or West. To avoid such a fate, the Lady Bears must continue to dominate the lesser opponents, which is basically every other team in the Big 12.
Baylor still has a shot at a No. 1 seed as well, as the Lady Bears are firmly entrenched in a cluster that includes Maryland, Duke and Tennessee. Another win over West Virginia in the conference tournament could move the Lady Bears ahead of the pack. The Big 12 conference tournament begins this weekend in Oklahoma City.
Baylor University Lady Bears’ Tournament Resume:
RPI (Sagarin): 5
V. Top-25 RPI: 9-3
Last 10: 9-1