A look at the upcoming week around the Big 12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Fourth-ranked Texas aced its first road test of the season when it went into Allen Fieldhouse last weekend and bludgeoned then-No. 3 Kansas, tying the most lopsided loss handed to the Jayhawks in the 65-year history of the building. After the Longhorns (9-1, 3-0) avoided a letdown in a nip-and-tuck win over Iowa State, they head back on the road Saturday to face No. 14 West Virginia. The Mountaineers (9-3, 2-2) should be riding a wave of momentum after rallying from 19 down in the second half to steal a road win over Oklahoma State. It was the 300th win for Bob Huggins at his alma mater.
No. 6 Kansas and Oklahoma meet in a marquee CBS matchup amid the NFL’s wild-card weekend on Saturday. Second-ranked Baylor heads to TCU, No. 18 Texas Tech visits Iowa State and Oklahoma State and Kansas State meet the same day. But the biggest game on the horizon happens Tuesday night, when the Derek Culver and the Mountaineers head back on the road to face the Bears. It’s the first of back-to-back games against ranked teams for Baylor, with Texas Tech on deck next weekend.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Culver was the star for the Mountaineers in their win in Stillwater, finishing with 22 points and 19 rebounds while joining with Isaac McBride in leading their massive rally against the Cowboys. It was a big bounce-back game for Culver after he was held to two points and six boards in 22 minutes in a close loss to Oklahoma. His play will be crucial for the Mountaineers after Oscar Tshiebwe, a former five-star recruit, entered the transfer portal last week – he was off to a sluggish start after a monster freshman season that had put him on many scouts’ radars.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Oklahoma transfer Umoja Gibson was the Big 12 player and newcomer of the week after hitting eight 3-pointers and scoring 29 points in the Sooners’ 75-71 win over West Virginia. … Baylor set a school record with its ninth straight double-digit win in its 76-65 victory over Iowa State. … Kansas won its 11th straight Big 12 road game at TCU on Tuesday night. The Jayhawks had five players score double figures. … Oklahoma State has forced 10 or more turnovers in 18 of its last 19 games going back to last season. … Texas Tech’s Terrance Shannon Jr. had 22 points, six rebounds and three steals while coming off the bench for the first time this season.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE
There are only five conference games scheduled this week after Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State had to postpone their games due to COVID-19 protocols. … Oklahoma’s Madi Williams scored a school-record 45 points against West Virginia to earn Big 12 player of the week. It was the fifth-most points scored in a game in Big 12 history. … DeYona Gaston averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds in just 25 minutes while leading Texas to wins over Lamar and Iowa State. … All eight of the Longhorns’ victories this season have come by double digits. … Oklahoma State improved to 3-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2009-10 season with its 75-48 win over Texas Tech.
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