Baylor forward Nina Davis (13) shoots over Oklahoma's T'ona Edwards (2) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez
February 13, 2015

WACO, Texas (AP) Take a quick glance at the Big 12 standings, and everything looks normal with the No. 3 Baylor women leading the way.

Except young Baylor, the four-time defending league champion now with a 22-game winning streak, wasn't even the preseason favorite. And the Lady Bears (23-1, 12-0 Big 12) are the only ranked team from the conference that has never finished a season without multiple Top 25 teams.

Even with that disparity between the Lady Bears and all those teams below them, the Big 12 still has the No. 1 conference RPI. It is also the only league in the nation with every team having a winning record.

''I think the bottom part of our league, whatever that is ... There's just not much of a dropoff,'' Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. ''That's what you don't see around the rest of the country. There's always two or three in the league that you know you're going to get in and get a win, and that just does not happen in the Big 12.''

The second-place Sooners (15-8, 9-3) are coming off an 89-66 loss at Baylor. They are three games behind the Lady Bears with six league games left.

Everybody else in bunched up in the standings. None of those eight teams are better than 6-6 in league play, or worse than 4-8.

''I think what you see a lot of is there's youth in the Big 12 this year. Oklahoma is a young team, Texas is really a young team, we are extremely young,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''But it doesn't mean we don't deserve more than one or two in the NCAA tournament.''

Asked if it is a good year or bad year in the Big 12, Mulkey quickly responded, ''I think it's great. I love it. I don't work for any other school in the Big 12. I love that we have a three-game lead.''

Baylor, winning games by an average margin of 25 points with only one senior, was picked by league coaches in the preseason to finish second behind Texas.

Texas (15-8, 4-8) got off to a great start in coach Karen Aston's third season, with non-conference wins over Top 25 teams Stanford, Tennessee and Texas A&M. But the Longhorns took a huge blow Jan. 19 when leading scorer and rebounder Nneka Enemkpali was lost for the season after tearing a ligament in her left knee during a loss at Baylor. They have lost six of their last seven games, including four in a row, and this week fell out of the Top 25 for the first time this season.

The Lady Bears are led by Big 12 scoring leader Nina Davis, an undersized sophomore post player averaging 21.4 points a game, and national assists leader Niya Johnson (8.7 assists per game). The junior point guard set a Big 12 single-game record with 17 assists, without committing a turnover, in the win over the Sooners.

Baylor has won 16 consecutive home games since a loss last March to West Virginia (15-9, 5-7), which plays Sunday in Waco. They shared the regular-season Big 12 title last year.

Mountaineers junior guard Bria Holmes, the Big 12 preseason player of the year, is the league's second-leading scorer at 20 points a game.

Oklahoma State (14-8, 5-7) was ranked in the first 10 polls this season before a four-game Big 12 losing streak in January. West Virginia was ranked the first seven polls. Oklahoma, with a sophomore transfer and freshman guard in its starting lineup, recently got in the Top 25 for one week.

''Lots of good on the horizon for this team,'' Coale said. ''I do like how we're progressing.''

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