MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Dawn Plitzuweit embarks on her first tour through the Big 12 Conference on Saturday when her West Virginia Mountaineers host the 20th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners at the WVU Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
The Mountaineers tip back off on their home court after a trip to West Palm Beach, Florida, where they took two wins from Georgia and Miami (OH). Some players, like guard Danni Nichols, heated up at the right time, since their road is about to get a lot more difficult to navigate.
“You can tell we’re all still new to each other, we’re still a new team, but I think you can definitely tell the difference in how we’ve grown as a team and as individuals playing with each other from our first game to our games in West Palm,” Nichols said.
It starts with the Sooners, the highest-scoring offense in the Big 12 by a massive margin. OU pushes the pace of the game, playing in transition for nearly a third of its time on the court.
This has generated 963 points in 11 games this season — 87.5 per game.
“What Oklahoma does a really good job of, and they’ve done this for years — I remember when I was at Michigan and we played against Oklahoma, they were a team that had a transition break that was so fast…and that has continued with [second-year coach] Jennie [Baranczyk],” Plitzuweit said.
Baranczyk has the luxury of some of the league’s best scorers, as well, led by forward Madi Williams. She has especially enjoyed playing the Mountaineers, averaging 27.5 points in her last four meetings with West Virginia, including a career-high 45 points in 2021.
It also doesn’t hurt Baranczyk to have the best three-point shooter in Big 12 hoops history in her starting five. Redshirt senior Taylor Robertson has made 476 three-pointers in her career, the highest on either the women’s or men’s side of the league. She actually set that record during her last trip to Morgantown on Jan. 19, scoring 22 points in the Sooners’ win.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for WVU after Saturday’s final buzzer. On the other end of the Big 12 opener stands Iowa State, an underperforming squad through the early part of the season that still packs quite the punch with Ashley Joens, one of the WNBA’s top prospects.
Tip-off between West Virginia and No. 20 Oklahoma on Saturday is set for 2 p.m. ET at the WVU Coliseum. Fans can watch the contest at home on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.