No. 24 West Virginia, No. 23 Oklahoma to meet in marquee Big 12 contest on Saturday

The WVU Coliseum
The WVU Coliseum / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

A battle between Top 25 programs highlights the NCAA Women's Basketball slate on Saturday, as No. 24 West Virginia welcomes No. 23 Oklahoma in a marquee Big 12 contest.

The Sooners (18-6, 12-1) will enter the WVU Coliseum on Saturday with an outright lead in the Big 12 standings, with a loss to No. 7 Kansas State the only blemish on their conference. 

WVU (21-3, 10-3) meanwhile is tied for second-place in league play with Kansas State and No. 5 Texas. The Mountaineers are still in contention for a regular-season conference championship and the top-seed in the conference tournament, but Saturday's matchup is a must-win if they want to keep that dream alive.

“We’re sitting there in second place right now with the team ahead of us in the standings coming into our building,” said WVU head coach Mark Kellogg during a mid-week press conference. “So we got a lot to be excited for, and a great opportunity coming up.”

Kellogg also discussed the difficulties in particular that the offensive style Oklahoma plays could present for his team.

“They're hard to guard because they're so versatile -- they can play inside, they can play outside. They cut, and it's just they're so good, and they just read off of each other,” he said. “They play with such a freedom on offense, that those kids play with. They know the shots they're supposed to take, and they play fast.”

The Sooners enter the matchup averaging 77 points per game this season, over 20 points per game more than WVU’s defense has allowed this season.

Still, Kellogg said a focal point in the game plan will be his team’s defensive strategy. He knows his team can't just play average defense against Oklahoma and come away with a win.

“We'll have to be dialed in defensively to try and create something or take them out of what they’re good at,” Kellogg said.

Tip-off Saturday will come at 1 p.m. from the WVU Coliseum. The game can be streamed live on ESPN+ and will also be available via radio on Mountaineer Sports Network affiliate stations.