WBB Watch Guide 2-10: Spend Valentine's Day with Baylor and Texas

Photo by Pat Carrigan

College basketball continues to roll along.

One of the biggest questions I have this week isn't actually about a game, but about a lack of a game: with no games scheduled for SFA, will they miss out on a chance to sneak into the top 25? They doubled their votes in the poll from three to six this week, but it seems the voters might not up that number with no new chances for the Ladyjacks to blow out opponents this week.

Otherwise, the big story of the week: Baylor and Texas face in a Valentine's Day showdown. Can Vic Schafer's unit pull off the upset, or are we still a year or two away from getting out there and challenging the Lady Bears?

All game times are Central. Below is this week's Watch Guide.


Wednesday, February 10

Houston at Temple at 2:30 p.m.

It seems like every week of basketball starts with an afternoon Houston game on a Wednesday, doesn't it? The Cougars are 10-5 on the season, including a sizable win over Temple back in January in a game that happened on a Wednesday afternoon. This one's on the road, but it's hard to see the Owls reversing the 80-46 loss from last time. Five Cougars scored in double digits, including Laila Blair with 19.

No. 7 Baylor at Texas Tech at 6 p.m.

Baylor probably won't get tripped up in this one, but it is a chance to see if Tech can be more than just the Vivian Gray show in this meeting. Last time, she was the only player with over eight points and Lexi Gordon shot just 3-for-14. Can this team get more players involved and give Baylor a scare? Can they get going from deep after shooting 3-for-19 in the first meeting? 

Lamar at Nicholls State at 6 p.m.

Abilene Christian at Houston Baptist at 6:30 p.m.
Husky Sports Network

HBU has been the best surprise in the state this year, as the Huskies are 7-5 and 3-2 in Southland play. But ooh, this is going to be a test, as the Huskies lost 88-57 to Sam Houston last week in a matchup with a comparable opponent. ACU has the second-best net rating in the conference and has been the clear No. 2 team offensively. HBU has been the conference's No. 2 defense, but how much of that is aided by two meetings already with Northwestern State?

Kansas State at TCU at 6:30 p.m.

UIW at Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m.

Sam Houston at Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m.

Oklahoma State at Texas at 7 p.m.
Longhorn Network

There are plenty of reasons to watch this game that don't revolve around the WNBA Draft, but let's just talk about the obvious thing here: the matchup of bigs here between Charli Collier and Natasha Mack is a battle of the top two college bigs in this year's draft projections, assuming Collier declares early. Last time they met, Mack had the upper hand, with OSU winning 68-51 and Mack finishing with 21 points on 50 percent shooting, plus grabbing 15 rebounds. Collier grabbed 17 boards, but shot just 25 percent, with 10 points on 5-for-20 shooting. This is a huge test for Collier.


Thursday, February 11

UT Arlington at Texas State at 7 p.m.

The state's Sun Belt teams meet up twice this week. Texas State has lost four of its past five games and has really struggled to put points on the board, while UTA has had some nice offensive moments behind players like Shyia Smith and Bre Wickware. Give the Mavs a pretty nice edge going into this one, but as it's the state's only game on Thursday, there's enough intrigue around this one to tune in.


Friday, February 12

California Baptist at UTRGV at 1 p.m.
WAC Digital Network

UTRGV probably doesn't stand much of a chance here, because the Lancers are 16-0 on the season and probably should be getting discussed a little more than they are. But hey, they've played a few close ones, including a 10-point road win over Tarleton, so if you want to start your Friday out by seeing one of the best mid-majors in the country, give this one a shot. By the time other games start, we'll know if the Vaqueros are going to be able to make it a contest.

Western Kentucky at Rice at 2 p.m.

Rice is back! The Owls haven't played since January 16, so we'll see if they can shake off the rust against a WKU team that's 5-5 in conference play. Rice, led by one of the country's best centers in Nancy Mulkey, should win this, but you never know what to expect with a team that hasn't played in three weeks.

UTSA at Florida Atlantic at 4 p.m.

I'm not sure what I expected from UTSA this season, but it definitely wasn't an 0-12 start to conference play and a 2-15 record, with the only DI win coming over a winless Northwestern State team. Only having their second-best player, Adryana Quezada, for six games so far has contributed to that. But FAU is only 2-6 in conference play, offering the Roadrunners their best shot to get into the win column against a Conference USA team.

UTEP at FIU at 6 p.m.

Southern Mississippi at North Texas at 6:30 p.m.


Saturday, February 13

Tarleton at Chicago State at 1 p.m.
WAC Digital Network

Could this be Tarleton's first official conference win as a Division I school? Both teams are 0-6 in WAC play, but Chicago State is also 0-9 overall, while Tarleton has collected four wins, including one win over UTRGV that technically counted as a non-conference game due to some kind of scheduling reasons. This could be it for the Texans, who've played some good teams pretty tough in their first season in the WAC.

California Baptist at UTRGV at 1 p.m.
WAC Digital Network

UTSA at Florida Atlantic at 1 p.m.

UTEP at FIU at 1 p.m.

Houston Baptist at Lamar at 2 p.m.

Look, realistically, that HBU/ACU matchup earlier in the week won't go the Huskies' way. But this game, between two of the Southland's mid-tier schools? This is a good one. Lamar has done a good job forcing mistakes from their opponents and had a five-point win over HBU in their first meeting. That game saw Lamar's Sabria Dean score 18 points and Micaela Wilson to dominate, with 17 points and 14 rebounds. On the HBU side, three players scored in double figures, but N'Denasija Collins shot just 3-for-12 from the floor, and the Huskies didn't shoot over 40 percent in any quarter. Expect an exciting one.

Central Arkansas at Sam Houston at 2 p.m.

Memphis at Houston at 2 p.m.

Oklahoma State at Texas Tech at 3 p.m.

Can Texas Tech slow down Natasha Mack again? She only had 11 points on 5-for-17 shooting last time they played, but Oklahoma State got 28 points from Ja'Mee Asberry and won 75-48. But hey, if Vivian Gray can get going offensively, this could be a fun game.

Texas Southern at Grambling State at 3 p.m.
GSU YouTube

New Orleans at UIW at 3 p.m.
UIW student-run tv

Southern Mississippi at North Texas at 3:30 p.m.

Western Kentucky at Rice at 4 p.m.

Texas State at UT Arlington at 4 p.m.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Abilene Christian at 5:30 p.m.

TCU at Iowa State at 7 p.m.

Down year for TCU, who are 2-9 in Big 12 play with wins over Kansas and Texas Tech. But they played ranked West Virginia pretty close a couple weeks back, and while Iowa State has as high a ceiling as anyone in the conference outside of Baylor, they've also lost to Texas twice, who aren't playing elite-level basketball this year like Baylor and West Virginia are. Consider the Cyclones and Ashley Joens heavy favorites.


Sunday, February 14

Tarleton at Chicago State at 1 p.m.
WAC Digital Network

No. 16 Tennessee at No. 6 Texas A&M at 2 p.m.

It's happening! This is the third attempt this year to get this game in, which means it's my third attempt to write about why you should watch this game. I'm just going to copy and paste what I wrote last week when this game was supposed to happen:

This game was supposed to happen back in December, but we've had to wait a bit. Before that game, I expressed concern about Tennessee having not played a tough schedule yet. Well, since then they've defeated two Top 25 schools, Arkansas and Kentucky. In both games, their defense held strong teams in check, and that's what they'll look to do to the Aggies. The matchup to watch here is Tennessee's Rennia Davis vs. whoever she's matched up with on both ends of the floor.

Texas at No. 7 Baylor at 4 p.m.


The first meeting of these teams in the Vic Schaefer era is upon us. The Longhorns haven't been as good in Schaefer's first season as a lot of people expected, but this is a fairly young Texas team that was always going to have some growing pains. What Texas has going for them here is that they might have the best player on the floor in center Charli Collier, but what Baylor has going is that the combo of Queen Egbo and NaLyssa Smith up front is really the exact thing that has bothered Collier this season. We talked earlier about her 25 percent shooting night against Natasha Mack and OSU. There's a distinct possibility that happens again.

But Collier also has had some explosive showings. If she can draw the Baylor defenders away from the basket and open up driving lanes for the team's guards, maybe the Longhorns can get an edge. Baylor hasn't had to rely on its shooting to win them games much this season, so if Texas can go big here with Collier and Lauren Ebo and force Baylor to put the game in the hands of Moon Ursin and DiJonai Carrington, maybe they sneak away with a win. The problem: Baylor doesn't shoot a ton, but they have some really good guards who can shoot, so forcing Baylor to beat you outside could just mean you lose to Baylor in a different way.


Monday, February 15

Texas Southern at Jackson State at 5:30 p.m.
Jackson State Sports Network

This game was among the ones I was most excited for before the season, but an injury to Niya Mitchell has really hurt this team. Still, these two teams always have close, competitive meetings between each other, even if this isn't a game with the conference title in play like it could have been.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Sam Houston at 6:30 p.m.
Bearkat Sports Network

McNeese State at Lamar at 7 p.m.

UIW at Houston Baptist at 7 p.m.

Let's end this week by talking about UIW, whose season has just been sent into disarray because of COVID postponements. The Cardinals have played just seven games, including two Southland games. But after a blowout loss to SFA on January 16th — followed by another three-game pause — the Cardinals shook off the rust and beat McNeese 66-47 on Monday. They play Northwestern State and New Orleans still before this game, but those two teams are among the worst in the conference and I think even a rusty Cardinals team has a firm advantage in those. This is the intriguing contest, on the road against a resurgent Huskies team. Could UIW end up 4-1 in Southland play after this week? Can this talented but very young team really stake their claim as the team to beat in the post-Texas 4 future of the conference?

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