No. 1 Baylor (13-1) vs. No. 17 Iowa State (12-2)
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, 11 a.m. CST
Ferrell Center (10,284)
TV: FOX Sports Net
As one of the nation’s toughest conferences gets ready to begin play amongst its members, the top team in the nation looks for revenge.
Last year, a No. 11 Baylor had a 17-6 record going into a game against then-No. 17 ISU. The Cyclones’ overall record was 18-4. ISU also had the edge in conference play with a 6-3 Big 12 record in contrast to Baylor’s 4-5.
The Cyclones had the home court advantage with over 11,000 fans and national television exposure from FSN. Using a collapsing zone, they held Baylor center Brittney Griner to ten points, beating Baylor for the first time since 2004.
“We’re not going to forget what happened on national television last year,” said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey in a post-game press conference last week about facing ISU this week. “They’re very well coached, they shoot the three, and it’s the first game of conference.”
Coaches around the Big 12 often lament with a hint of braggadocio of how tough it is in the Big 12, night in and night out, playing against teams that come into conference play with streaks and winning records against non-conference teams. But to Mulkey, anything before January 8 is moot.
“We gotta flush that,” she says of her team’s 13-1 record and success in the first part of the season. “And now we’ve got to go to really, the second most important part of our season and that’s conference.”
This year the 17th-ranked Cyclones are 12-2 on the season. ISU’s two losses have both come against ranked opponents. The Cyclones lost road games to then-10th-ranked West Virginia (64-53) and then-16th-ranked Iowa (62-40).
The Lady Bears bring a 10-game win streak and 11-game Ferrell Center win streak into the matchup.