DES MOINES, Iowa — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey insists the Lady Bears aren’t focused on the pressure that comes with being unbeaten.
They just want to win the national championship like everyone else.
Fourth-seeded Georgia Tech (26-8) gets its shot at taking down the relaxed and mighty Lady Bears (36-0) today in the semifinals of the Des Moines Regional. The winner gets either Tennessee or Kansas on Monday night.
“I don’t know that we even think about pressure. We just want to win a national championship like everybody else that’s remaining,” Mulkey said. “There’s no pressure.”
Don’t tell that to Georgia Tech, which has the unenviable task of trying to slow down Brittney Griner while hoping the rest of the Lady Bears don’t run wild.
Everyone knows about the 6-foot-8 Griner, who is averaging 23.1 points and 9.2 rebounds a game, has 184 blocks and famously dunked in Tuesday’s 76-57 romp over Florida in the second round. But the Lady Bears also have Odyssey Sims, who Mulkey believes is the nation’s best point guard, along with a strong supporting cast that includes forward Destiny Williams and guard Kimetria Hayden.
Baylor ranks first in the nation in field goal percentage, second in assist-to-turnover ratio and scoring margin and third with 78.8 points per game.
Though the Yellow Jackets are deep and athletic, they also know that nobody’s stopped Baylor yet for a reason.
“That’s what makes them such a difficult team to beat. I mean, at this point in the season no one’s figured that out exactly yet,” Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. “They’ve got a great point guard and a great, great center, and then they have role players that have accepted their roles.”
Georgia Tech has already notched the best season in school history, reaching the NCAA Tournament’s regional semifinals for the first time.
Freshman Sydney Wallace has had an incredible NCAA Tournament so far, combining for 51 points in wins over Sacred Heart and Georgetown after averaging just six points a game before then.