The No. 20 West Virginia women’s basketball team will travel to Waco, Texas, on Monday to close its regular season against the Big 12 regular season champions, the No. 6 Baylor Bears.
Looking at the matchup for the Mountaineers (19-4, 13-4), they will need to score much more efficiently this time around if they hope to beat Baylor (21-2, 16-1). Kirsten Deans led the team in scoring in the previous matchup with only 10 points.
The Mountaineers will have to feed the paint more and find Esmery Martinez or Kari Niblack for high-percentage looks at the rim rather than the jump shots that they settled for last time against the Lady Bears.
In Baylor’s lone conference loss to Iowa State, the Big 12 leader in points, Ashley Joens, put up 27 points on the Lady Bears without a made three-pointer. Head Coach Mike Carey will make sure that his leading scorer, Kysre Gondrezick, gets downhill and slashes against Baylor’s post players.
For Baylor, NaLyssa Smith leads the way with 18 points per game, while DiJonai Carrington is second in scoring coming off the bench with just under 13 points per game. It was Carrington who gashed the Mountaineers in their last matchup, pacing the Lady Bears with 19 points in 26 minutes.
The Mountaineers, who have finished as runners-up behind Baylor, will be looking for a win against the Lady Bears for the first time since their Big 12 Tournament triumph in 2017.
The last time out for West Virginia was a 72-64 victory over Kansas State with another double-double from Esmery Martinez to lead the way. The Mountaineers shot at a high clip against the Wildcats, converting 50% of their shots in the game.
Going into the Big 12 Tournament, the Mountaineers will be the No. 2 seed, which earns them a free spot in the quarterfinals following a bye.
West Virginia is set to face Baylor at 8 p.m. on ESPN+.