By Krista Pirtle
The No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears (18-0) look to add to the win column as they host No. 23 Kansas State (13-4) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
Their last matchup went in Baylor’s favor with a score of 86-53 in Manhattan, Kan.
Kansas State is 0-3 when facing the No. 1 team; however K-State has won four out of five road competitions this season.
Baylor has won the last 10 meetings between the teams; Kansas State’s last win came in 2004.
The Lady Bears will have to fight complacency as they face lower-ranked competition.
In order for Baylor to excel defensively in this game, the Lady Bears must shut down Kansas State’s top two scorers who average 15 points per game: junior guard Brittany Chambers and senior forward Jalana Childs.
On the offensive side, the guards for Baylor will need to acknowledge the presence of junior guard Mariah White who has 40 steals on the season, putting her at 100 total while at Kansas State.
For the Lady Bears, this game has a special meaning.
Redshirt sophomore Shanay Washington will play for the first time at home since November 2010.
Washington suffered an ACL tear during practice and underwent surgery this past summer as a graft had not healed properly.
She played four minutes in Wednesday’s win over Texas Tech and went 0-1 from the floor.
In addition to Washington, the reserves for the green and gold could see some playing time.
This game will be a great opportunity for the Lady Bears to work on different defensive schemes and allow the depth to strengthen.
Wednesday, Texas Tech used its sharp shooting post players to pull junior Brittney Griner away from the basket, allowing less threat near the basket.
The Lady Bears, who are used to having help behind them, were beaten off the dribble several times, allowing Tech easy layup opportunities. This game will give Baylor an opportunity to fix that.
Baylor still pulls down an impressive amount of offensive rebounds.
Expect Baylor to own the tempo of this basketball game, increasing its lead with transition buckets.
As far as post play goes, the tallest K-State player is 6 feet 2 inches tall.
Lob passes into the paint should be spot on for Griner. Once Kansas State begins to crowd the paint, the Baylor guards will have the opportunity to work on their accuracy beyond the arch.
The Lady Bears know to focus on the game at hand and not look forward to Thursday’s competition in Norman.
Baylor’s toughest opponent in this game will be itself, working to improve upon and polish its game as the top team in the nation.