The last three undefeated teams in league play — Baylor, Texas A&M and Oklahoma — are preparing for a busy week that will see at least one of those squads pick up a loss.
The sixth-ranked Aggies travel to face No. 13 Oklahoma tonight and then host the top-ranked Bears on Sunday in College Station.
“This will be a big week in the Big 12,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. “This is an opportunity to hold serve on our home court.”
Both Oklahoma and Baylor made it to the Final Four last season and look just as dominant this year.
A&M is currently on a hot streak, blowing out league opponents by an average of 30.25 points. The Bears are currently riding a 15-0 tear of their own, and Oklahoma has two of the conference’s top-10 scorers.
“I think it’s going to be a great weekend,” said A&M head coach Gary Blair. “This is what you dream about as coaches. You live for these weekends.”
Baylor maintains top spot in ESPN poll
The No. 1 Lady Bears of Baylor have maintained the top spot in the collegiate rankings for the fourth week in a row after two convincing wins last week.
Brittney Griner led the ladies from Waco in their last game — a 64-51 win over No. 25 Texas Tech, recording 25 points, 7 rebounds and 6 blocks to overpower the Red Raider interior. Baylor (18-1) will face perhaps their toughest test of the rest of the season this Sunday when they travel to College Station to take on No. 5 Texas A&M. The Aggies have matched the Lady Bears’ 5-0 start in Big 12 play (along with No.
13 Oklahoma). This pivotal matchup will go a long way in determining the winner of the conference down the road. The Big 12 race was supposed to include Texas (1-4), but with the Longhorns’ slow start that’s no longer the case, and it appears to be a three-way race at the top of the standings.
UConn’s Walker transferring to Kentucky
Maybe losing one game does make a big difference after all. After having their record 89-game winning streak snapped by Stanford earlier this month, coach Geno Auriemma’s Connecticut Huskies encountered a bit of a personnel shakeup. UConn, ranked No. 2 in the most recent poll, will have to play the rest of the year without impact freshman Samarie Walker, who announced her decision to transfer to Kentucky earlier this week.
UK head coach Matthew Mitchell’s opinions on the motivation of Walker’s basketball career differ sharply from the seemingly bitter Auriemma, who has said Walker is struggling to stay committed to the sport. A 6-foot-1 forward who played regularly for the Huskies and averaged about six points and six rebounds per game in 17 appearances, Walker apparently could not deliver the “energy and commitment that [she] needs to be successful.”
Walker will be eligible to play following next fall semester, per NCAA rules. Her role with the struggling Wildcats is expected to be a big one, as she is a projected starter when she is eligible to play again.
“Samarie is a talented player who will have an excellent opportunity to make a significant impact at Kentucky on and off the basketball court,” Mitchell said.