OU-Texas Preview: Moore stepping up

The Sooners (15-4) and Longhorns (10-6) will tip-off at 7 p.m. tonight at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Norman — The 13th-ranked Oklahoma women's basketball team hopes to continue their winning ways when they host the Texas Lady Longhorns at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center (preview below).

The Sooners are coming off their biggest win of the year in Waco, Texas, where they beat defending National Champion Baylor 73-70 thanks to eight straight points from junior point guard Kendra Moore with 1:30 remaining.

Moore has been sharing time with fellow junior Britney Brown all season at the point, and together they have played as well as any point guard in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners are currently 5-0 and sitting in the top spot of the Big 12 Conference standings with a two-game lead on the rest of the field.

The Sooners are 15-4 and 5-0 in the conference, while Texas is 10-6 and 4-2 in conference play. After Monday's practice, Moore stayed for a few minutes to talk to OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: What a game for you against Baylor. You are finally looking like that great player at Ardmore before your senior year and your knee injury. You are a very confident player at this point in the season, aren't you?

KM: "Yes, well Baylor is a really good team and we all played together and did everything that we were supposed to do. I don't know, but they were playing off both Britney and I and they just left me open so I had to take the shot."

JH: In high school you and Britney both were big-time scorers and both you of took all the big shots. So when teams drop off of you to double on Courtney Paris, isn't that a great opportunity for you to burn them?

KM: "Right, but the deal is like coach says we have to shoot in rhythm. Whenever we bring the ball down and they play off of us, we just take the first open shot. We have to move the ball around and make sure that the shots we are taking are really good shots in rhythm."

JH: You must have been in a great rhythm for the final eight points. Talk about that sequence, because you had no hesitation as you just went up and easily took the final three shots.

KM: "They were taking away Erin (Higgins) and Chelsi (Welch) on the wings, so they were leaving me open. Courtney can still do her thing and all I did was penetrate into the lane and they gave me open looks."

JH: Then on the 3-pointers, it looked like you shot perfect shots?

KM: "I am feeling good and really good about my shot now. I have been working on it and it is coming through for me."

JH: You and Britney are doing a great job on the defensive end as well, It seems that every team in the conference has a great point guard that you guys have to defend?

KM: "Defense wins games and once we stop them on defense, we can do whatever we want on offense. Defense is the key thing for our team right now, and we are doing a really good job at it."

JH: You guys seemed so confident in that game against Baylor.

KM: "We went into that game with nothing to lose. Right now we are undefeated in conference and all we have to do is play Oklahoma ball. We went in there and played OU ball and won the game."

JH: Courtney continues to give you a great presence inside, but Leah Rush had a great defensive effort on Sophia Young. It seems like she always draws a top scoring forward on the other team?

KM: "Right. Leah has been doing so good on defense. She went against (LaToya) Davis against Texas Tech and then she guarded Sophia. She has been taking our opponents key players out of their game. She has been doing a tremendous job."

JH: What are your thoughts on Texas?

KM: "Texas is very quick. They are going to be out on us on defense and they are going to be pressuring Britney and I. We will be ready for them and try to take advantage of their quickness and aggressiveness and turn that into our advantage."

The Setting
Texas (10-6) at #13 Oklahoma (15-4) -- January 24, 2006 -- 7 p.m. CST -- Norman, Okla.-- The Lloyd Noble Center (12,000).

The Rankings
The Sooners are ranked 13th in both the Associated Press and Coaches Poll and 10th in the RPI. Texas is 35th in the RPI.

The game will be broadcast nationally on CSTV. The game can be heard on KOKC 1520 AM in the Oklahoma City metro area. To listen to the game online, click the link below and then click the black and white photo at the top of the page.

Listen Online

The Matchup
Texas dropped their first two conference games, but will come into tonight's matchup on a four-game winning streak and in a three-way tie with Missouri and Texas A&M for thid place in Big 12 play at 4-2.

The Longhorns are led by led by 6-foot-3 junior forward Tiffany Jackson, who is averaging 17 points and 11.3 rebounds in Big 12 play. Jackson was the National and Big 12 Freshman of the year two years ago and an Associated Press third-team All-American last season and consensus All-Big 12 pick as a sophomore.

One other Longhorn of note is freshman starting guard Erika Arriaran, who chose the Longhorns over the Sooners.

Texas swept the Sooners last season – 83-71 in Norman, 72-36 in Austin and 65-59 in the BIg 12 Tournament — and have won eight of the last nine meetings. Overall, UT leads the series 19-8.

Texas Projected Starters
G -- 4 -- Erika Arriaran -- 5-10, Fr. -- 10.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg
G -- 22 -- Nina Norman -- 5-6, Sr.. -- 9.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg
F -- 35 -- Daria Mielozynska -- 6-2, Sr. -- 10.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg
F -- 33 -- Tiffany Jackson -- 6-3, Jr. -- 15.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg
C -- 43 -- Aubrey Cook -- 6-3, Fr. -- 5.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg

More on the Longhorns
Schedule/Results | Roster | Stats

Oklahoma Projected Starters:
G -- 33 --Britney Brown -- 5-9, Jr. -- 4.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
G -- 34 --Erin Higgins -- 5-9, Jr. -- 10.1 ppg, 1.7 rbg
F-- 22 -- Chelsi Welch -- 5-9, Jr. -- 8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
F -- 24 --Leah Rush -- 6-1, Jr. -- 11.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg
C -- 3 -- Courtney Paris -- 6-4, Fr. -- 20.8 ppg, 14.8 rpg

More on the Sooners
Schedule/Results | Roster | Stats

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