OU Heads to Waco to Face No. 1 Baylor
SATURDAY'S GAME BASICS
Oklahoma (6-17, 2-10 Big 12) heads to Waco to face No. 1/1 Baylor (22-1, 12-0 Big 12) on Saturday. The Sooners are looking for their first win in Waco since 2009, while the Lady Bears have won 35 consecutive regular season games against Big 12 opponents. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT.
ON THE AIR
Saturday's game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest + with Kris Radcliffe (play-by-play) and Jim Haller (analyst). The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KREF 99.3 FM/1400 AM in Norman; TuneIn Radio App) with Brian Brinkley calling the action.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma and Baylor meet for the second time this season after the Lady Bears took the first matchup on Jan. 27 in Norman, 74-53. The Sooners are 10-13 in Waco all-time and have handed Baylor seven of its 22 home losses since the 1999-00 season. OU's last victory at Ferrell Center came on Jan. 28, 2009. Baylor leads the all-time series, 28-26.
• Saturday's game marks the second matchup this season for OU against the nation's No. 1 team. OU battled with then No. 1 UConn to the wire in Norman before falling 72-63, to the Huskies on Dec. 19. The Sooners' last win over an AP top-5 team came in 2015, defeating then No. 3 Baylor, 68-64, inside Lloyd Noble Center. OU is 0-18 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the AP poll.
• Sophomore guard Ana Llanusa has led the Sooners in scoring in four consecutive games and is averaging 21.8 points per game during the stretch. Llanusa led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting in OU's win over Kansas on Wednesday. The sophomore picked up her second 30-point scoring performance of the season last Sunday, finishing with 33 points against K-State.
• Freshman guard Jessi Murcer has provided a spark for the Sooners offensively over the last three games, averaging 12.3 points per contest. The freshman poured in 12 points and recorded six rebounds in 27 minutes versus Kansas on Wednesday. Murcer scored 15 points on Feb. 6 at Oklahoma State, while dishing a career-high five assists and picking up a career-best five steals.
• Taylor Robertson continues to lead the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.912) and 3-pointers per game (3.3). Her 3.3 3-pointers per game lead all major conference players this season, while her 75 3-pointers rank second. The freshman is second on the Sooners' freshman record list for 3-pointers made in a single-season. The freshman's .441 3-point shooting percentage is fourth currently on OU's single-season list.
• Baylor enters Saturday's game with a 22-1 overall record and a 12-0 mark in Big 12 play after topping K-State, 71-48. The Lady Bears are averaging 81.6 points per game (ranks first in the Big 12) on .514 field goal (first), .382 3-point (first) and .662 free throw (seventh) shooting. Baylor leads the nation in field goal percentage defense (.317), assists per game (23.4), blocked shots per game (6.8) and rebounding margin (+16.6).
• Senior center and preseason All-American Kalani Brown leads the Lady Bears with 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. The senior leads the Big 12 and ranks eighth nationally in field goal percentage at a .637 clip. Junior forward Lauren Cox is one of the top shot blockers in the country, averaging 2.2 blocks per game (ranks second in the Big 12 and 22nd in Division I). Cox averages 12.3 points a game, while adding 7.6 rebounds per contest.
• Junior guard Juicy Landrum averages 10.7 points per game and 5.4 rebounds a contest. Graduate transfer guard Chloe Jackson is second in the Big 12 with 6.4 assists per game and averages 10.6 points per contest.
• Kim Mulkey is in her 19th season at Baylor and has a 561-99 record with the Lady Bears. Mulkey has led the Lady Bears to three Final Fours, including national championships in 2005 and 2012.
Mandy Simpson added eight points, seven rebounds and four assists against Kansas on Wednesday.
GAME 23 RECAP: KANSAS
• Ana Llanusa led all scorers with 21 points, Madi Williams earned a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma defeated Kansas, 78-67, on Wednesday. The Sooners finished with four players in double figures as OU won its fourth straight meeting at home against Kansas.
• OU grabbed a 35-30 halftime lead after shooting .600 (15-of-25) from the field in the first half. The Sooners pushed their advantage to double figures twice in the third quarter, but the Jayhawks stormed back to make it a one-possession game heading to the fourth quarter. The Sooners turned to their defense in the final frame as Kansas was limited to just one field goal on its final 11 attempts as OU pulled away for the win.
• Llanusa led the Sooners in scoring for the fourth straight game, picking up her third 20-point scoring performance in the last seven games. The sophomore was 7-of-15 from the field and 6-for-7 at the foul line in the win, while adding four rebounds and two steals. Williams earned her sixth double-double of the season and was 7-of-15 from the floor, while recording three assists and a block in 32 minutes.
• Jessi Murcer added 12 points and finished 4-of-7 from the field, while knocking down 3-of-4 attempts at the charity stripe. Taylor Robertson hit a pair of 3-pointers and recorded 10 points. The freshman also picked up five rebounds. Mandy Simpson logged eight points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists. The sophomore's putback off a miss from Llanusa with 0:58 to play sealed the win for the Sooners.
SERIES HISTORY VS. BAYLOR
• Baylor leads the all-time series, 28-26, against the Sooners. OU is looking for its first win Waco since Jan. 28, 2009.
• The Sooners' last victory over the Lady Bears came in 2015 in Norman as OU defeated Baylor, 68-64.
• The Sooners and Lady Bears are the two winningest programs in the Big 12 era, with the programs combining for 15 Big 12 regular season titles and 13 Big 12 tournament championships. Baylor and Oklahoma are the only two teams in the conference to make three Final Four appearances.
ELEVATE WITH ANA
• Sophomore guard Ana Llanusa has made an immediate impact for the Sooners since her return from foot surgery. Llanusa is averaging 16.3 points per game during Big 12 play, which ranks seventh in the conference. The sophomore has scored 20-plus points three times in the last eight games.
• The sophomore has led OU in scoring in each of the last four games. She finished with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting in OU's win over Kansas. Llanusa finished with 33 points, just two shy of her career high, against Kansas State last Sunday. The sophomore was 10-for-20 from the field, made a season-high five 3-pointers and finished 8-of-9 at the free throw line.
• At Iowa State, the sophomore turned in the best performance of her collegiate career, finishing with career-highs of 35 points, 15 made free throws and four steals. Llanusa's 35 points are the most scored by a Big 12 player in a game this season and are the most by a Sooner in a single game since 2014.
• Llanusa's 35 points at Iowa State rank as the seventh-most scored by a Sooner in a Big 12 game. She joins Aaryn Ellenberg, Courtney Paris (twice), Danielle Robinson and Phylesha Whaley (twice) as the only OU players to score 35-plus points against a Big 12 opponent.
• Llanusa is one of three Big 12 players to score at least 30 points twice in conference play this season, joining Iowa State's Bridget Carleton and Oklahoma State's Vivian Gray. Llanusa is the first Sooner to record a pair of 30-point scoring games in conference play since Danielle Robinson in the 2010-11 season.
THE DUAL THREAT
• Freshman guard/forward Madi Williams has made an immediate impact for the Sooners offensively and on the glass. She has recorded at least 10 rebounds in eight games and is averaging a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game (ranks sixth in the Big 12) to go along with 12.4 points per contest. Williams' six double-doubles are the most by a Big 12 freshmen this season.
• Williams is averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds a game over the last seven contests. The freshman has scored in double figures six times in the last seven games and collected a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against Kansas on Wednesday.
• Williams has six double-doubles during the season, which ranks fifth in the Big 12. Only Courtney Paris (31, 2005-06) has recorded more double-doubles as freshmen in the Sherri Coale era.
• Taylor Robertson ranks first nationally among Division I freshmen with a .912 free throw percentage, which would rank as the second-best clip in school history by an OU freshman.
• OU ranks fifth in the Big 12 during league play with a .717 free throw percentage. The Sooners posted a .577 clip from the free throw line in non-conference play and have dramatically improved their percentage in Big 12 play. Robertson leads all Big 12 players with a .935 clip in conference play.
• The Sooners are fourth in the Big 12 with 8.6 steals per game during the regular season. Freshman guard Tatum Veitenheimer is 15th in the league with 1.4 steals per game.
• Veitenheimer's 72 assists this year are the seventh-most by an OU freshman in a single season in program history. Veitenheimer needs three more assists to move into the top five on OU's freshman record list.
• Oklahoma's 30 made free throws at Iowa State on Jan. 19 rank as the most made by a Big 12 team this season. It was the most free throws made by the Sooners in a single game since the 2013-14 season (35, vs. Louisville).
• Ana Llanusa's 15 made free throws at Iowa State are the most scored by a Big 12 player this season and are tied for ninth-most nationally in a single game.
• Oklahoma's strength of schedule currently ranks 13th nationally among Division I teams. Its the second straight season that OU is projected to finish in the top-15 nationally in strength of schedule.
• Oklahoma's run of 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances ranks as the longest active streak by a team in the Big 12 and the fifth-best active streak among Division I women's basketball teams. OU's 19 straight NCAA bids is the ninth longest streak all-time in Division I. Only Tennessee (37), Stanford (31), Connecticut (30) and Notre Dame (23) have made more consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament than the Sooners.
• The Sooners tied for third place in the Big 12 with an 11-7 mark in league play during the 2017-18 season and finished the regular season ranked second in the nation in strength of schedule a year ago. OU has won at least 10 Big 12 games in 12 of the last 13 seasons.
The Sooners host No. 18/21 Iowa State on Wednesday for their annual Sooner Jr. Fan Field Trip Day with tip-off set for 10:30 a.m. CT. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma.