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Lady Bears set to host top-ranked UConn

Thursday night, one of the best matchups of the women's college basketball season will take place in Waco.

Waco — Thursday night, one of the best matchups of the women's college basketball season will take place in Waco.

The top-ranked UConn Huskies roll into the Ferrell Center to take on the 9-1 Baylor Lady Bears.

Baylor enters the game after beat Texas-Rio Grande Valley 98-37 on New Year's Eve in the Ferrell Center.

In that game, the Lady Bears got double-digit scoring performances from seven players plus 13 rebounds from freshman Queen Egbo.

"I thought that our activity was better," coach Kim Mulkey said of the Lady Bears' perimeter defense after the win. "But I've got to thing about why our shooting percentage went down in the second half."

The Lady Bears shot 63.2 percent from the floor in the first half of Monday's win, but dropped to 55.6 in the second half.

Addressing that is key for Baylor heading into not only Thursday night's showdown against UConn, but Big 12 play which starts just three days later in Lubbock.

It's not something Mulkey seemed particularly stressed about after blowing UTRGV out, citing its spot as BU's first game since a 68-63 loss at No. 11 Stanford on Dec. 15.

"You can't help but talk about UConn," Mulkey said. "They're the No. 1 team in the country, they've won all those national championships. Now, we can talk about them."

This is the first meeting between these two programs since Nov. 17, 2016, when UConn won 72-61 in Storrs, Connecticut.

That night, Alexis Jones, then a senior, led all scorers with 23 points to go with six assists. Only Kristy Wallace would also get to double digits, scoring, for Baylor.

In the same game, four Lady Huskies scored in double figures led by Crystal Dangerfield's 19.

UConn also won the most recent meeting in Waco, Jan. 13, 2014, 66-55.

This year's Baylor roster has averaged 8.3 steals per game, something which will be key for the Lady Bears as they head into the Big 12, where they'll likely be heavy favorites, and the NCAA Tournament.

"Didi and Moon, their pressure on the ball handler is so important for us," Mulkey said.

It will continue to hold its value, with Baylor looking to get over the regional hump its been in the past two seasons.

Tip-off against UConn set for 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ferrell Center.