The Big 12 women played three games on Saturday, with two more slated for Sunday. Here are our three takeaways from Saturday’s results, along with Sunday’s schedule.
No 15 Texas 68, TCU 47
West Virginia 61, Oklahoma State 57
Kansas 71, Texas Tech 57
Sunday’s Games (all times central)
No. 14 Oklahoma at Kansas State, 1 p.m., ESPNU
No. 7 Iowa State at No. 15 Baylor, 2 p.m., ESPN2
Note: Iowa State’s Ashley Joens will be in the lineup on Sunday for the Cyclones.
The Importance of Lauren Ebo
Aaliyah Moore may end up being a top-level player in the pivot for the Texas Longhorns for years to come. But, right now, Lauren Ebo keeps giving the Longhorns what they need inside.
Ebo missed the Iowa State game on Wednesday, which gave Moore the chance to start for the first time since November. But, with Ebo back in the lineup on Saturday, the senior proved why she’s the player the Longhorns can turn to inside with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Ebo was averaging 7.4 points and 6.5 rebounds going into that game. Moore may ultimately overtake Ebo in the starting lineup at some point this season. But, for now, with the quality guard play the Longhorns are getting from Rori Harmon, Aliyah Matharu, Joanne Allen-Taylor and Audrey Warren, Ebo is the perfect complement.
West Virginia Is Trying to Get Back in This
The Mountaineers got off to a rough start in Big 12 play, and COVID protocols had something to do with that.
WVU’s win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, 61-57, helped the Mountaineers end a two-game losing streak. KK Deans and Esmery Martinez helped fuel the win. Deans had 20 points, while Martinez had 13 points and a whopping 18 rebounds. If the Mountaineers are going to dig out of this hole and make a run at the NCAA Tournament, those are the players that have to lead the way and this is the time to do it.
WVU has to stop following up a win with two-game losing streaks, and that’s been their pattern in Big 12 play so far. TCU offers the Mountaineers that opportunity to break that pattern, with the game in Morgantown. Then, it’s a weekend game against Baylor, a Bears team that is getting better, but is not the impervious beast it used to be.
Kansas Keeps Moving
The Kansas Jayhawks beat Texas Tech on Saturday to stop a two-game losing streak. To be an NCAA Tournament team — and that’s what ESPN’s Charlie Crème believes the Jayhawks are at the moment — you have to stop losing streaks.
Kansas did it with big games from Chandler Prater (18 points), Holly Kersgieter (17 points) and Ioanna Chatzileonti (11 points), and in the face of an enormous game from Texas Tech’s Vivian Gray, who had 32 points.
Being an NCAA Tournament team also means knowing when you have a chance to improve your resume. That moment comes in the next two weeks. Kansas faces Iowa State at Ames, Iowa, on Wednesday. After that, the Jayhawks get two games with Oklahoma State, back-to-back, and a game with TCU. Those two teams are the only under.-500 teams in the Big 12. If Kansas wants to be a Tournament team, without question, it must win those three games. Prove to the committee that you can beat the teams you should.
Next Week’s Games (all times central)
Tuesday: TCU at West Virginia, 6 p.m., Big 12/ESPN+
Wednesday: Oklahoma State at No. 14 Oklahoma, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Kansas at No. 7 Iowa State, 6:30 p.m., Big 12/ESPN+
Wednesday: Kansas State at Texas, 7 p.m., LHN
Wednesday: No. 15 Baylor at Texas Tech, 7 p.m., Big 12/ESPN+
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.