Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey used the exhibition game against Oklahoma City U. on Tuesday to give newcomers a chance to play. After all, with five returning starters from a 40-0 NCAA championship club, the frosh might not play much until games are way out of hand in the second half.
Then again, Baylor has the ability to put games out of reach pretty quick.
All-American Brittney Griner had 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in just 22 minutes to help Baylor hack the defending NAIA champion Stars, 91-42. A crowd of 7,496 at Ferrell Center watched the Bears pummel an OCU team that finished 35-1 a year ago.
Baylor opened a 13-2 lead when Mulkey started substituting. The score was 49-15 at halftime.
“The freshmen did fine,” Mulkey told wacotrib.com. “I think conditioning for several of them — it's obvious they've got to learn to play longer stretches. For the most part, you're pleased. It was a game of just go play. We're not looking at the scoreboard, we're not looking at who we're playing, we're going out there to look and get better with each other.”
Lauren Gober led OCU with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
*Two former Central States Football League powers, Southern Nazarene (1-8) and Northwestern State (2-7), square off at 2 p.m. Saturday in Alva.
Both schools are transitioning to NCAA Division II, and both will soon become full-fledged members of the Great American Conference. So nothing but bragging rights are on the line Saturday at Rangers Field.
Northwestern State has won two straight. The Rangers are coming off a 44-19 victory over the Air Force junior varsity. Northwestern State debuted all-red jerseys and pants with camouflage numbers as part of its Military Appreciation Day. Other than the suits, the Rangers did not show much appreciation toward Air Force.
Jared Jackson, a senior running back from Moore, collected 194 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Jackson also returned the opening kick 100 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Kyle Jech, a senior from Kingfisher, completed 12 of 19 pass attempts for 143 yards and one touchdown.
Jech did not throw an interception — but that's nothing new. He's been picked off just twice in 368 pass attempts this season.
*Central Oklahoma (2-6) will host Southwest Baptist (1-8) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Edmond. UCO will introduce its next Athletics Hall of Fame class during halftime: All-American tennis player Melburn Brown Jr.; national wrestling champion Todd Drake; All-American basketball player Tyrone Hopkins; All-American football player Johnnie Jones; multisport athlete Christina Smith; soccer player Sally Holmes Tinga; coach Jim Rogers; and Jessie Banks and Don Jimerson for lifetime achievement.
*Defense delivered last Saturday for Northeastern A&M in its 26-24 victory over Navarro (Texas) that decided the Southwest Junior College Football Conference regular-season champion. Navarro was in the red zone four times in the first half but managed just one field goal. NEO (8-1) will host Tyler (Texas) in the SJCF postseason semifinals; Tyler handed the Golden Norse its only loss this season, a wild 65-59 double-overtime decision on Sept. 27.
*Southern Nazarene junior Blake Cavill helped make up for the absence of injured star linebacker Michael Hicks last Saturday at Southwestern State. Cavill, also a linebacker, returned an interception 87 yards in the third quarter; in the fourth quarter, he ran back a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown. On the interception return, Cavill was chased down at the Southwestern State 5 by wide receiver Timmy Winans. But the Crimson Storm failed to score after a 15-yard personal foul penalty and four other plays resulted in minus-15 yards.
Hicks, who was The Oklahoman's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn MCL.
*East Central linebacker Tyler McGrew was named Great American Conference Defensive Player of the Week. The senior collected a dozen tackles and returned an interception 23 yards during the Tigers' 37-27 upset of No. 20-ranked Ouachita Baptist (Ark.). The former All-District receiver at Bixby High School also threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cody Nall on a fake field goal in the first quarter that gave ECU a 6-0 lead. Brian Gonzalez' point-after kick was blocked, but he rebounded with three field goals, including a career-long 47-yarder.
*Brittney Roberts joined the 100-win club as a wrestler for the Oklahoma City University women's team. Roberts, a three-time All-American, reached the century mark while winning the 155-pound championship last weekend at the CanAm Open in Jamestown, N.D. Roberts hopes to become flight nurse after college.
*Bo Bond transferred to Rogers State from Northeastern A&M, where he captained the men's basketball team as a sophomore. He averaged 12.7 points last season. Rogers State looked forward to having Bond contribute this season, but the 6-foot-4 forward suffered a knee injury in practice and is out for the season.
Bond “was someone we were counting on, and he just had a bad run of luck,” Rogers State coach Justin Barkley said.
Rogers State has made the NAIA Championships' quarterfinals the last two seasons. The Hillcats will go for a sixth consecutive 20-win season behind three returning starters, including leading scorer, senior Donald Williams, who averaged 14.6 points.