Sports, Women's Basketball, WVU Sports

No. 24 WVU faces challenge of slowing down No. 10 Texas’ high-scoring offense

MORGANTOWN — Like any coach in this situation, Mark Kellogg said the right things.

The 24th-ranked WVU women’s basketball team would prepare the same way, practice the same way and watch the same amount of film, Kellogg assured.

But, let’s be honest, this is different.

“It’s Texas,” is all Kellogg had to say.

In what will likely be a tell-tale sign of just how far WVU (13-0, 2-0 Big 12) has come in its first season under Kellogg, the Mountaineers will entertain the high-scoring Longhorns at 2 p.m. Saturday inside the Coliseum.


“Each game presents a new challenge, and I expect a very physical, tough defensive-type game,” Kellogg said. “Both teams will battle. They’re going to play hard. They can rebound and they have size. They have the size advantage, but that’s nothing new to us.

“It’ll be a top-25 challenge. I’m excited to see my team play against an elite top-10 team in the country.”

Just how much of a moment can this be? You have to go back to March 2022 to find the last time the Mountaineers hosted a team ranked in the top 10.

Throw in the fact this game is against Texas (14-1, 1-1), and it adds so much more.

It’s the final time WVU may ever host the Longhorns at the Coliseum, as Texas bolts for the SEC in July.

Texas has won the last four meetings between the two schools by an average of 16 points per game and it was voted the Big 12’s preseason favorite heading into the season.

“Getting (WVU players) motivated won’t be the problem,” Kellogg said.

What will be the problem?

Texas can score the basketball, like really score the basketball.

The Longhorns enter the game fifth in the nation averaging 91 points per game.

That stat is even more impressive when you consider the team’s top two players — forward Taylor Jones and point guard Rori Harmon — have been out of action for the last few weeks.

Jones, who averages 16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds, is expected to miss today’s game with a hip injury.

Harmon, the league’s preseason Player of the Year, is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

And yet the Longhorns keep rolling. Their only loss of the season came against No. 6 Baylor, but Texas has still averaged 84 points per game since Harmon went down to injury.

WVU hopes to counter Texas’ scoring power with some of its own defensive might.

The Mountaineers are second in the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing just 53.7 points per game, while also forcing a league-high 25.2 turnovers per game.

“You can do it a lot of different ways, but I don’t want to give away too much,” Kellogg said. “I do think there’s ways to slow them down. We’re not going to beat them if we give up 92 points. We’re going to have to have a game plan that limits them and holds them under their average.”

(10) TEXAS at (24) WVU

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: WVU Coliseum
TV: ESPN+ (Online subscription needed)
RADIO: 98.3 FM