Baylor returns to Big 12 title game
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Baylor Lady Bears returned to the Big 12 Championship Game after defeating the Kansas State Wildcats 88-71 in the semifinal round of the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday.
Nina Davis was a force in the paint, lead the Lady Bears with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Alexis Prince scored 18 points on a very efficient 7-of-8 shooting including a perfect 4-for-4 from the three point line. Kalani Brown produced Baylor’s lone double-double on 18 points and a team leading 12 rebounds.
To the Lady Bears, the most impressive stat of the day was 15 assists from senior Australian point guard Kristy Wallace.
“She gets pretty much all the credit, 99.1 percent,” Davis said. “The other is finishing the shot, but we go as Kristy goes. All year long she has been our Energizer bunny. She never gets tired. She is going to take that charge. Today she had blood running down her knees. She is always going to give her heart. She is going to give 100 percent in everything she does and she has been trying to handle everything since (Alexis Jones) has been out.”
Wallace has been improving in her ball distribution all year. She only averaged 1.7 assists per game last year while sharing the backcourt with Jones.
“Jones last year played the point with Kristy,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said, “so they were both handling the ball probably equally and then early in the season I pretty much told Kristy to handle the ball because I feel like Jones is such a great scorer. If you could just let her not have to think and be the coach out front, let her go shoot the ball and do things. So that’s the big difference is that Kristy’s basically playing all point guard now.”
Wallace and Davis have played together for such a long time that their chemistry played a big part in their success against Kansas State.
“I kinda know it’s coming to me,” Davis said. “I’ve been playing with Kristy for three years now, and I pretty much know who she is going to pass it to even though she is not looking at me.”
Baylor will be making its seventh straight title game appearance and will be going for its seventh straight tournament championship.