OKLAHOMA CITY — Kristy Wallace may come from the land Down Under, but her passes were over-the-top and right on the money.
The Baylor junior point guard matched a career high by distributing 15 assists in the top-seeded Lady Bears’ 88-71 victory over Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament semifinals on Sunday. She also set a Big 12 tourney record for a single game, besting the 12 assists that Kansas State’s Megan Mahoney recorded in a 2004 contest.
Wallace took an aw-shucks, nonchalant approach to the record following the victory.
“I had no idea how many assists I had,” she said with a smile. “I was just playing and trying to win the game, which is the most important thing.”
Wallace has sharp enough court vision that she doesn’t always need to look at her target. She deivered a pair of no-look dishes in the second half in transition, a dump to Khadijiah Cave for a bucket and another to Nina Davis.
“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. So it’s kind of like a chemistry-type thing.”
While Wallace has settled into a prolific passing rhythm, with 22 assists in two Big 12 tournament games, she still has to pick up the pace to break the Baylor single-game record. Former NCAA assists leader Niya Johnson had a 19-assist game against McNeese State in 2015.
Davis shrugs off subdued season stats
Davis has put up games of 18 and 24 points in Baylor’s two Big 12 tournament games, nothing unusual for the four-time all-conference forward.
But on the year, Davis’ scoring average of 12.3 is the lowest of her career, nine points less than she averaged as a sophomore in 2014-15 when she led the Big 12 in scoring.
She chalked it up to Baylor having far more offensive options now.
“We just have a team with a lot of depth this year,” Davis said. “Numbers aren’t really that important to me. In the past years, my numbers have been higher, but I didn’t have the talent that I have on the team now. … So it’s just the balance of our team, and it doesn’t bother me.”
Thirty-something yet again
Baylor’s win was its 30th of the season, a benchmark that is becoming routine for the Lady Bears.
It marks Baylor’s seventh straight 30-win season. The last time the Lady Bears didn’t reach at least 30 wins was 2009-10, Brittney Griner’s freshman year. That team made the NCAA Final Four, but finished 27-10.
Baylor has reached 30 wins in a season eight times under head coach Kim Mulkey. Before her arrival, the Lady Bears last reached that plateau in 1977-78, when Olga Fallen’s team went 33-8 for their fourth straight 30-win season.