March 7, 2020. WVU Coliseum. WVU forward Kari Niblack rises to shoot a layup.

March 7, 2020. WVU Coliseum. WVU forward Kari Niblack rises to shoot a layup.

The West Virginia women’s basketball team is back in action on Saturday when it hosts the No. 17 Texas Longhorns in Big 12 play. 

For the Mountaineers, this will be the first game in nearly a week after their trip to Kansas State was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns for the Wildcats. 

In their last time out, West Virginia (7-2, 1-2 Big 12) dominated Oklahoma, 90-72, to pick up its only road win of the season. Kysre Gondrezick and Kirsten Deans scored 26 and 20 points, respectively, in order to fend off a 45-point explosion from the Sooners’ Madi Williams. Esmery Martinez added a double-double as the next leading-scorer with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Looking ahead, West Virginia will rely on Gondrezick and Deans once again along with Martinez, Madisen Smith, and Kari Niblack to round out the WVU attack. The Mountaineers will have to take care of the ball, something that they have struggled with this season, as Texas forces 24 turnovers per contest. 

The Mountaineer bigs will have their hands full with Charli Collier of Texas (8-1, 2-0 Big 12). Collier enters the game as the second-highest scorer in the Big 12, averaging 23.4 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds per game. Behind her, guard Joanne Allen-Taylor leads the Longhorns in assists and averages 13.4 points per game, while Audrey Warren and Celeste Taylor add double-digit scoring on average.

The two teams share very similar rebounding margins, and it seems that the game could very well come down to the difference in the rebound and turnover department. The Mountaineers, however, hold a significant advantage in the shooting department, as they are shooting 40% from downtown while Texas is a few ticks down at 33%.

Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed on Big 12 Now through ESPN+.