GREENSBORO, North Carolina (KWTX) Monday night the Baylor Lady Bears will play in the Elite Eight for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons. The Lady Bears currently sit at 26 straight wins, most recently smacking South Carolina yesterday. But now they turn their attention to Iowa, a team that held off NC State to advance to their first Elite Eight since the early 90s.
"(We have the) utmost respect for Baylor,” said Iowa Forward, Hannah Stewart. “They are an awesome, great team, but it would be really cool to knock off the overall 1-seed. We've all got our sights on it and we're all focused on that game and ready to do that."
Baylor's task will be to limit the NCAA's leading scorer Megan Gustafson, who averages 28 points per game and is also top five in rebounding.
"She's the best player in the country according to ESPN, she isn't doing it by herself,” said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. “She has plenty of help around her."
However, the attention will still be focused on the matchup inside between Baylor’s Kalani Brown and Gustafson. Recently the Lady Bears have heard the outside criticism that Brown lacks mobility. This was even after Brown limited the NCAA's leading rebounder, Cal senior Kristine Anigwe to just five boards in Baylor's second-round win over the Golden Bears. Mulkey was asked what she thought about Kalani's ability to run the floor, and she made it known that she doesn’t see any mobility issues.
"I'm not sure where this mobility problem people keep bringing up comes from,” said Mulkey. “Foul-line-to-foul-line are where basketball games are won, and Kalani Brown at her size can run foul-line-to-foul-line in my opinion as well as any big girl in the game. So I don't know about mobility. Maybe, you know, my idea of not being very mobile is different than your description of it, but I don't -- I don't see where that kid has a mobility problem."
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Lauren Cox feel they just need to limit the damage that Gustofsan can cause.
"Kalani is going to start on her and if I need to switch down on her whenever, I can do that,” said Cox. “She's a good player, she's going to get her points, but we're going to try to limit her touches and do the best we can."
The Lady Bears will try to join UConn, Oregon and the winner of Notre Dame vs. Stanford in the Final Four. Tip off between the Lady Bears and Hawkeyes is set for 6 p.m. Central time.