The No. 11 West Virginia women’s basketball team faces its toughest test of the season Sunday afternoon, facing No. 6 Baylor at 2:30 p.m. at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
“It’s down to a two-game season,” said West Virginia coach Mike Carey. “Needless to say we’d like to have the (Baylor) game at home. We had them at home (earlier in the season) and they beat us. So now we have to beat them on their home court.”
Baylor beat the Mountaineers 78-62 at the WVU Coliseum Jan. 8. Odyssey Sims scored a career-high 48 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
“We’ll be aggressive (early) and attack, attack, attack,” Carey said. “We’ll defend and play as hard we can.”
The Mountaineers (25-3, 14-2 Big 12) control their own destiny, as a win in their final two games would secure a tie with the Bears for the regular-season Big 12 Conference title. WVU and Baylor are 15-1 and 14-2 in conference play, respectively.
“We have nothing to lose,” Carey said.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 69-37 blowout victory against Texas Tech. Sophomore guard Bria Holmes led the way for the Mountaineers, scoring 28 points and 8-of-9 shooting from free throw range in 30 minutes of action. WVU has won eight straight games.
“She just came out aggressive,” Carey said. “(The girls) sometimes miss a few shots, get down on themselves – we’ve got to forget that. (Bria Holmes) came out early and immediately starting attacking the rim and got to the foul line. She got all the 50-50 balls.”
Holmes leads the Mountaineers with 14.9 points per game, which is No. 7 in the Big 12.
Senior center Asya Bussie added nine points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
“Asya Bussie is a special player,” Carey said. “Everybody felt so bad for her last year because it was her senior year. For her to be so productive this year, it’s great for her. I’ve said since her freshman year that she’s one of the best defenders in the country.”
Baylor (25-3, 15-1 Big 12) is currently riding an 11-game winning streak, with their most recent victory coming Monday against Oklahoma, 96-89. Sims scored 38 points in the win.
“If the game is close toward the end of the game, anything can happen,” Carey said. “We want it close at the end of the game. We’ve done a pretty good job this year in close games (down the stretch).”
Baylor is the No. 1 offense in the Big 12, averaging 86.2 points per game, while West Virginia’s defense is No. 1, averaging just 57.3 points on 34 percent shooting.
Tipoff will air live nationally on Fox Sports 1.