Kansas City, Mo. For the first time in four years, Iowa State won't be playing for the Big 12 women's basketball tournament championship.
Seventh-ranked Baylor, the regular-season runner-up, topped No. 11 ISU, 91-83, in the semifinals Thursday at Municipal Auditorium and will face league champion Oklahoma in tonight's 6 p.m. championship game.
The second-seeded Bears (26-4) will be playing in the finals for the first time.
"This was a big win and another first for our program," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said.
It will also be the first time in the league's six-year history that there will be two southern teams in the final.
Oklahoma (26-3) lost to two-time tournament champion Iowa State in last year's championship game.
Experience paid off for fourth-ranked, and top-seeded Oklahoma Â which starts four seniors and a junior Â in Thursday's other semifinal, a 69-49 rout of No. 13 Kansas State.
KSU's starting lineup includes three freshmen and one sophomore.
"We have some quickness defensively," said OU's Stacey Dales, who scored 19 points against the Wildcats. "When you have a young team, that pressure can fluster you. They're really good in their youth, but it can get to you."
Top-seeded and fourth-ranked Oklahoma could wrap up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a victory. The Sooners won both regular-season matchups with BU.
While OU relies on Dales, the two-time league player of the year, Sheila Lambert leads the way for Baylor.
The senior guard scored 30 points Wednesday in a 75-60 victory over Texas Tech and led five players in double figures with 20 points and 11 assists on Thursday against ISU. Lambert posted the double-double despite sitting out nearly 11 minutes during the first half with foul trouble.