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Preview: Despite losing Rori Harmon, No. 5 Texas Longhorns aim to dominate conference rival No. 10 Baylor Bears

Now it gets interesting! Two top ten teams—No. 5 Texas and No. 10 Baylor—kick off Big 12 play. How will the Longhorns adapt without Rori Harmon? Are the Bears now the best team in the state and conference?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 13 Women’s - Texas at Arizona
With the Longhorns losing Rori Harmon to injury, Shaylee Gonzales must step up.

On Saturday, the fun begins with the conference competition in the Big 12. We have two undefeated top teams playing one another, with the No. 5 Texas Longhorns (13-0, 0-0) hosting No. 10 Baylor Bears (11-0, 0-0) at home at 2 p.m. ET (FOX).

The matchup is still highly anticipated, but does have a bit of a damper on it, with Texas guard Rori Harmon tearing her ACL.

Life without Rori Harmon

Rori Harmon tore her ACL during practice on Wednesday due to a non-contact injury. She shared the shocking news via the Texas Longhorns’ X/Twitter account. Harmon getting the help she needs to guarantee a speedy recovery is the most important thing. Nothing else matters more.

Her absence will be felt on the court for the Longhorns, as she was averaging 14.1 points per game and leading the team with 7.8 assists per game. That kind of production will not be easy to replace. It will be a challenge for the Longhorns to continue their stellar start and not suffer a set back.

We’ll see how head coach Vic Schaefer adjusts and who takes Harmon’s minutes. We’ve already seen the Longhorns play without her against Jackson State. Shay Holle was the one getting more run and holding her on, scoring 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting. Baylor will be a much tougher test.

Can Baylor pull off the upset?

Baylor will have their hands full playing Texas on the road, but they are a top-ten team in their own right. They have a well-balanced offense with four players averaging double figures. It’s a guard-heavy attack, but forward Dre’Una Edwards has been sensational all season, averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds a night.

The Bears will need Edwards to dominate the glass and have a big game offensively if they want to pull out the road win.

Closing thoughts

It’s a bummer that Texas has a major season-long injury to deal with. It’s an unfortunate part of sports. Health and luck, just like skills, are factors in deciding who wins it all. Saturday’s matchup will be exhilarating, and we’ll learn two things after watching: how good Texas still is without Harmon and how legit Baylor is.

Game information

No. 10 Baylor Bears (11-0, 0-0) vs. No. 5 Texas Longhorns (13-0, 0-0)

When: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. ET

Where: Moody Center in Austin, TX

How to watch: FOX