Crossroads: Men look to regain form; Women on pace for title

Junior Forward Nina Davis jumps to score two points against K-State.

Now over halfway through conference play, both the men and women’s basketball teams will be back in action this weekend.

The women are tied for first in the Big 12 and the men are trying to climb the standings after losing the first place spot.



The No. 15 Bears travel to Morgantown, W. Va., to take on No. 14 West Virginia at 7 p.m. Saturday at the WVU Coliseum.

The Bears (17-5, 6-3) fell short against in-state rival, Texas this past Monday, 67-59, but plan to put the game behind them and keep looking ahead.

Head coach Scott Drew realized that his team has struggled defensively recently.

“We have not been very good defensively the last few games,” Drew said. “The last six games, I think we gave up 46, and our defensive efficiency is down to the 90s in the country last I saw.”

“We have been able to overcome it by rebounding and taking care of the ball and doing well offensively. We will have to figure out how to get better defensively.”

After losing to the Longhorns, senior guard Lester Medford said his team must focus and get ready for the next game.

“We cannot look back on it and have to get ready for West Virginia,” Medford said after the loss.

The Mountaineers (18-4, 7-2) have averaged 81 points per game and 40.4 rebounds per game.

The Bears are going to need to bring their A game if they plan to make a dent in the Mountaineers at their home.

Drew said each team in the Big 12 brings something unique to the table to help his team grow.

“The good thing about the Big 12 is that you are playing different styles so it prepares you for the postseason, and that makes it fun as a player because one game you go against a team that packs it in and then you play a team that presses,” Drew said.

The Bears currently sit at No. 4 in the Big 12 rankings, but a win could propel them toward the No. 1 spot they once had earlier this season.



The No. 4 Lady Bears (22-1, 9-1), on the other hand, dominated against Kansas State at home to take the win, 87-52.

Good ball movement and body size in the paint gave the Bears the advantage from the start.

Four runs throughout the game allowed the Bears to continue with all of the momentum.

Head coach Kim Mulkey said her team was prepared and everyone that she put out on the court played hard.

“Well, the good part is depth,” Mulkey said. “I can go as big as I need to go, and I can go as athletic and small as I need to go, and they are all playing with a lot of confidence right now. It just says that we have a lot of players that can play.”

Having dominated at home, the Bears look to extend their home win streak to 10 when they face Kansas at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center.

The Jayhawks (5-17, 0-11) have struggled all season in conference games, with a record to show for it.

Although the Jayhawks’ record doesn’t present a threat, senior guard Niya Johnson has said in the past that no team can be overlooked.

“We can’t look past those teams,” Johnson said. “You have to play every game like it’s your last, especially in the Big 12 conference. That’s what coach Mulkey tries to get in our heads, playing each game like it’s your last game in this conference.”

The Lady Bears look to improve in the national rankings and guard their spot at No. 1 in the Big 12 rankings.