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Big 12 update: Texas will have to turn its season around without Aaliyah Moore

The Texas Longhorns (RV, six points) still have a lot of talent and a long season ahead of them. But it’s been a rough start for the preseason No. 3 team.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 18 Div I Womens Championship - First Round - Fairfield at Texas
Vic Schaefer will have to game plan without Aaliyah Moore in mind.
Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Texas Longhorns (RV, six points) have lost a key player in Aaliyah Moore for the year to an injury. Moore was third on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game and has expectations of becoming a big star. She was the No. 6 Hoop Gurlz recruit in 2021.

This is obviously bad news for a Texas team that has fallen from No. 3 to receiving votes. However, it has won three in a row with a 107-54 win coming over Alabama State last Sunday and a 75-58 win coming over Jackson State on Wednesday. Khadija Faye averaged 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and three steals over those two games.

On Sunday, the Longhorns (6-4, 0-0 Big 12) face a potentially dangerous USC team in the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Trojans have lost just once and it was a nail-biter against No. 10 UCLA on Thursday.

No. 14 Iowa State Cyclones (7-2, 0-0 Big 12)

The Cyclones were able to correct some things from their Dec. 7 loss to now-No. 12 Iowa when they beat Jacksonville 84-50 last Sunday. Stephanie Soares went 0-of-6 from the free throw line against the Hawkeyes, but went 5-of-5 against the Dolphins with 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Assist machine Emily Ryan was held to three helpers against the Hawkeyes, but managed over her season average of 6.7 with seven last Sunday. Meanwhile, the face of the program, Ashley Joens, was good for 22 points, 10 boards and three assists and was 8-of-8 from the stripe. As a team. Iowa State was 19-of-22 (86.4 percent). The team is 13th in the nation with a free throw percentage of 78.9 on the season so its 8-of-16 performance against Iowa was uncharacteristic.

The Cyclones will look for their first ranked win of the season when they take on No. 25 Villanova on Sunday in the Invesco QQQ Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase. That game will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, home of the Connecticut Sun.

No. 18 Baylor Bears (8-2, 0-0 Big 12)

The Bears have allowed just 27 points since we last checked in as they defeated Tennessee State 93-27 on Thursday. Darianna Littlepage-Buggs went for 30 points and 11 rebounds and Baylor won field goal percentage 59 to 21.4. The Bears take on No. 20 Arizona on Sunday in the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

No. 22 Kansas Jayhawks (10-0, 0-0 Big 12)

The Jayhawks are still riding high off their Dec. 8 blowout of then-No. 12 and now-No. 20 Arizona. It allowed them to move from first team out to No. 22 and since then, they have defeated Wichita State 72-52 and Tulsa 81-62. Zakiyah Franklin averaged 21 points, three assists and 2.5 steals over the stretch. Taiyanna Jackson averaged 12 points, 12 boards and 3.5 blocks.

No. 24 Oklahoma Sooners (8-1, 0-0 Big 12)

The Sooners defeated Robert Morris 94-65 last Sunday with 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks coming from Liz Scott (7-of-8 from the field). Oklahoma may have been destroyed in its one loss, but it was to now-No. 13 Utah and remains the team’s only loss. The Sooners have the opportunity to continue cruising against Southern on Sunday before facing 10-1 Florida next Wednesday.

RV (5 points) Kansas State Wildcats (9-2, 0-0 Big 12)

Kansas State hasn’t played since our last update. When we published it, the Wildcats had just lost 82-78 to a South Dakota State team that went on to look competitive against No. 1 South Carolina. The Wildcats fell from No. 24 to receiving just five voting points on Monday.

Texas Tech Lady Raiders (9-1, 0-0 Big 12)

Bre’Amber Scott scored 24 points to lead the Lady Raiders past Oral Roberts 82-68 on Wednesday. Texas Tech doesn’t face a big test until it hosts Iowa State in its Big 12 opener on New Year’s Eve Day.

Oklahoma State Cowgirls (8-2, 0-0 Big 12)

The Cowgirls also have not played since our last update; they are on a 12-day break with their next contest being on Sunday against UNLV. Their next big test is when they host Kansas in their Big 12 opener.

West Virginia Mountaineers (7-2, 0-0 Big 12)

Penn State (8-3) was coming off giving No. 4 Indiana a scare when it beat West Virginia 69-57 last Sunday. So perhaps that wasn’t a bad loss for the Mountaineers. JJ Quinerly had 16 points and three assists in defeat.

TCU Horned Frogs (4-5, 0-0 Big 12)

The Horned Frogs also haven’t played since out last update. They host Grambling State on Sunday.