The No. 17 West Virginia women’s basketball team will take on No. 2 Baylor on Saturday, hoping to avenge last season’s 0-2 record to the Bears.
In the two games, WVU was outscored by a 142-104 margin. Given the production of both teams thus far, this season’s battles ought to be a bit different.
Saturday’s matchup pits two of the top defensive teams in the Big 12 as, entering Wednesday, Baylor and West Virginia were ranked first and second in scoring defense, respectively.
Offensively, Baylor entered Wednesday averaging 87.43 points per game — ranking first in the conference. WVU, on the other hand, was averaging a touch over 70 per game, ranking eighth out of ten teams.
Despite the conference rank, guards Kysre Gondrezick and Tynice Martin — WVU’s two top scorers — have helped the Mountaineers find improved success offensively. During the team’s stint in non-conference play, West Virginia outscored its opponents by a 782-619 margin.
“I think our players look for ‘em,” West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said of Gondrezick and Martin on Tuesday. “I think our players do a good job — our fours and five — do a really good job of getting them open.”
NaLyssa Smith has propelled the Baylor offense this season as she leads the team in scoring. Prior to the Bears taking on Kansas on Wednesday night, the sophomore forward was averaging 16.9 points per game. Four others also placed in double-digits.
Baylor is also one of the top assisting teams in the Big 12 as four different players rank near the top of the conference in assist/turnover ratio.
Carey will go face-to-face with Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey for the first time since March 4, 2019. Having faced off against each other 17 times over the past nine seasons, WVU has only won twice.
Saturday’s game will tip off at 8 p.m. from the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.