January 3, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
Big 12 season is here, and last night, K-State women's basketball (6-6, 0-1 Big 12) got a feel of just how good the conference will be this year as it fell to Baylor 92-63.
It's a new year, and despite a tough game last night, there is work to be done and much to look forward to as this young K-State team looks forward to the Big 12 season ahead.
"I thought we had moments in this game that showed the kind of basketball team we could be, but those moments were brief in relation to the full 40 minutes," head coach Deb Patterson said. "We've got to keep building on those positive and those good moments, and eliminate the mistake-filled moments."
There is no easy game when it comes to Big 12 play, Patterson says, and the team's upcoming schedule is among the toughest in the conference.
Here's a look at each Big 12 women's basketball team and how the teams have fared so far this season:
No. 9 Baylor (11-1, 1-0 Big 12) suffered its solo loss in a 133-130, four-overtime game to Kentucky. While the Bears may not have a perfect record, there is no doubt the team is among the top threats in the nation. K-State travels to Waco, Texas, on Jan. 22, for its second matchup against the Bears.
No. 11 Oklahoma State (12-0, 1-0 Big 12) has overcome tough nonconference opponents like Michigan State and Georgia Tech. The Cowgirls held on to their perfect record by defeating Texas last night in its first conference game of the year. K-State plays Oklahoma State for the first time on Jan. 8, in Bramlage Coliseum.
No. 14 Iowa State (12-0, 1-0 Big 12) has overcome teams like Cincinnati and Iowa in nonconference play. The Cyclones stayed perfect last night by defeating TCU, 71-49. The Wildcats face the Cyclones for the first time this season on Jan. 18, in Bramlage Coliseum.
No. 25 Oklahoma (7-4, 1-0 Big 12) has had perhaps one of the toughest nonconference schedules as it has taken on teams like Louisville and Duke, while its key victories were wins over Gonzaga and Wichita State. The Sooners will travel to Manhattan on Jan. 11, to take on K-State in Bramlage Coliseum.
Texas (9-4, 0-1 Big 12) is sitting just outside the top 25 polls as it is receiving votes in both the AP and coaches' polls. With one of the conference's toughest nonconference schedules in matchups against both No. 5 Tennessee and No. 4 Stanford, the Longhorns will be well prepared for the toughness this year in the Big 12.
West Virginia (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) is on a 12-game winning streak after beating Kansas, 65-55, last night in its first Big 12 game of 2014 and is also receiving votes for the AP Top 25 poll. The Mountaineers' solo loss was to Ohio State in their first game of the season. K-State plays the Mountaineers on Feb. 8, in Morgantown, W. Va.
TCU (9-4, 0-1 Big 12) fell to Iowa State last night. Much like K-State, its nonconference schedule was a mix of both good and bad. A late-season opponent, the Wildcats don't play the Horned Frogs for the first time this season until Feb. 19, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Along with K-State, Texas Tech (6-6, 0-1 Big 12) and Kansas (7-6, 0-1 Big 12) also entered the 2014 calendar year with winning records, which meant the Big 12 has every team competing at a high level. Among the nation's toughest conferences, the Big 12 was the only conference that contained two teams with undefeated nonconference records.
"I think every team we line up against (in the Big 12) is going to be this way. The names will change, but they're not going to back down," Patterson said. "If you don't play with toughness, they'll get to the foul line. Defensively, they'll tear you up if you don't really have a presence. So I don't look at Baylor a lot different than anyone else in this league, quite frankly. This league is full of teams that, with their own unique style, will put it to you if you're not tough and fierce."
The Wildcats' next Big 12 matchup is in Austin, Texas, as the Wildcats are set to face the Longhorns in a 2 p.m., contest on Sunday. The game will be aired on the Longhorn Network.