No. 6 Lady Bears to face No. 4 Texas in Austin

Kristy Wallace, a sophomore guard from Australia, looks for a pass around the WVU defense during the game Tuesday. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

The No. 6 ranked Lady Bears seek a road win against in-state rivals and No. 4 ranked Texas at the Frank C. Erwin, Jr., Special Events Center at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Austin.

The Lady Bears (17-1. 4-1), look to keep the momentum going after a tough win over West Virginia on Tuesday at the Ferrell Center. The Lady Bears were dominant in the paint and shot 71.4 percent from 3-point range. The Bears look poised for another win on Sunday.

The undefeated Lady Longhorns (15-0, 4-0 Big 12) have performed at high levels each game this season, winning by double digits in many games.

While the Lady Bears are leading the Big 12 with an average of 79.3 points per game, the Longhorns are only two spots behind, with an average of 75.0 points per game.

Both sides present a tall lineup, which is something the Lady Bears don’t see often. While the Baylor posts have been effective all season, they haven’t been faced with height down-low like they will on Sunday against the 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-5 Longhorn centers.

“Its going to be really challenging, especially for our posts,” said senior guard Niya Johnson. “We haven’t really played post players that big before. We are really going to have to focus on our defense, besides stopping the ball.”

Head coach Kim Mulkey concurred with Johnson in that it is going to be a challenge for the posts.

Moving their feet to stay out of foul trouble is going to be key for the post players, Mulkey said.

“They all want to reach over, they want to use their hands, but at this level your feet have to move first. And that is the hardest part for them more than the offense,” Mulkey said. “The defensive end is where I get nervous. Defense is where you usually get hurt from a freshman’s point when they are out there.”

Mulkey said her team knows the feeling of defeat, and are motivated not to experience it again.

The first loss of the season came in the conference opener against the Cowgirls in Stillwater, Okla. Despite a late effort by the Lady Bears, they were unable to get all the momentum to shift their way, which resulted in the 52-45 loss.

“They know losing that first game how it felt,” Mulkey said. “They know that the road ahead of them is tougher now. We just got to get back in sync and the only way to do that is to get your players healthy and those that are, playing to improve every day.”