West Virginia Dials Up for No. 1 Baylor

  • By Katie Kane
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  • March 01, 2013 12:53 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will tip off with defending national champion No. 1 Baylor at 7 p.m., on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum.

Baylor enters Saturday’s game on a 25-game win streak, the nation’s longest active streak, with a 27-1 overall record and a 16-0 mark in Big 12 play. Baylor leads the Big 12 in 15 statistical categories and the nation in four categories. As a team in league only games, the Lady Bears average 79.5 points per game, while limiting Big 12 opponents to only 52.8 points per game. On average, Baylor has defeated league opponents by a 26.8 scoring margin.

The Lady Bears hold the highest field goal percentage (.500), however rank No. 10 in the league for their free throw percentage (.632). As a team, Baylor limits its opponents to only 31.3 percent from the field, and 27.7 percent from 3-point range. Baylor has out-rebounded league foes by 9.8 boards per game and average 7.8 blocked shots per outing.

Senior center Brittney Griner averages 23.3 points per league game and 22.1 points in all games. Standing at 6-foot-8, Griner averages 9.9 rebounds per league game, leads the Big 12 in shooting at 58.8 percent from the field and blocks 4.9 shots per Big 12 contest. Griner has collected 110 blocked shots this season, to go along with 620 points and 250 rebounds.

Junior guard Odyssey Sims is the second-leading scorer with 12.3 points per league game, and at the point guard position, has dished out 138 assists. Sims averages 5.6 assists per game in league games, with 90 total in Big 12 play. A part of creating opportunities is in Sims’ ability to steal the ball, averaging 3.0 steals per Big 12 outing with 69 total. Sims leads the Big 12 with a 3.0 assist/turnover ratio with 90 assists to 30 turnovers in Big 12 play.

Senior Brooklyn Pope rounds out Baylor’s top three scorers with 10.9 points per league game. Pope assists on the boards with 5.5 rebounds per Big 12 game, and behind Griner, she holds the next highest field goal percentage of 52.3. Senior Destiny Williams has appeared in all games this season and is the second-leading rebounder with 6.6 boards per league outing, the 11th-highest average of all Big 12 players. Williams is Baylor’s leading scorer off the bench with 7.2 points per league game.

The last time WVU and Baylor met, the Lady Bears took a 76-58 win from the Mountaineers, an 18-point margin. The closest scoring margin between any Big 12 team and Baylor this season was a 15-point margin at Iowa State when BU defeated the Cyclones 66-51 in Ames, Iowa.

Saturday is the fourth meeting in the all-time series with Baylor and the first-ever meeting in Morgantown. The Lady Bears hold a 2-1 all-time series advantage, defeating WVU 76-58 in Waco in the last meeting. The first ever meeting between teams took place at the Mississippi Dial Classic on Dec. 7, 1984, when WVU defeated Baylor 73-67.

West Virginia enters Saturday’s game on a three-game win streak, defeating Kansas State 66-57 in the Coliseum on Tuesday. The Mountaineers are currently 17-10 overall and 9-7 in Big 12 play, in a tie with Oklahoma for fourth place in the league standings.

Junior Christal Caldwell remains WVU’s season scoring leader with 13.0 points per game, while lone senior Ayana Dunning averages 10.3 points per game. Dunning has stood out in the scoring column for WVU in the last three games, averaging 14.3 points per game. Off the bench, freshman guard Bria Holmes has stepped up with 10.0 points per game in the last three outings, averaging 6.0 points per game for the season.

General admission tickets remain on sale for Saturday’s game. To order, visit WVUGAME.com or call 1-800-WVU GAME. Fans can purchase general admission tickets priced at $5 each online until 1 p.m., Saturday on WVUGAME.com.

Saturday’s game is senior night, and the Mountaineers will honor Dunning in her final game as a Mountaineer on the Coliseum court. It is also a Gold Rush presented by Coke Zero.

The game will air tape delayed on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh at 10 p.m. Broadcasted by FOX Sports Net, the game will air live on seven regional sports networks, including Arizona (Plus), Detroit (Plus), Midwest, North (Plus), Ohio, Southwest and Wisconsin (Plus). It will also broadcast live on Sportsouth and ROOT Sports (Rocky Mountain Region).

In addition, fans can listen to the game live locally as it will be broadcast live on WAJR with Travis Jones on the call. In Beckley, fans can listen on 620 WWNR-AM or 101.1 WWNR-FM, in Bluefield it will air on 1240 WKEZ-AM and in Buckhannon it will air on 1460 WBUC-AM. In the Charleston area fans can listen live on 1490 WSWW-AM, and on 103.3 WAJR-FM in Clarksburg. Elkins will air the game on 1240 WDNE-AM, Keyser will air it on 1390 WKLP-AM and Summersville on 95.7 WSWW-FM.

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