MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia women’s hoops is in a groove, but its path to the NCAA Tournament gets a little steeper on Wednesday.

The Mountaineers have won five of their last six games in the Big 12 to climb the league standings, sitting two games behind the lead in fourth place. Those two games separate WVU and No. 24 Texas, who will enter Morgantown for a 7 p.m. ET tip-off tied at the top of the Big 12.

The Longhorns have an identical streak going — five wins in their last six — because of their attention to the fundamentals, leading the league in field goal percentage and offensive rebounding.

“I think they are a team that really is disciplined and poised and knows how to attack and can create opportunities, so yeah, they’re really, really good,” said WVU coach Dawn Plitzuweit.

A big part of that recent success was the return of point guard Rori Harmon, one of Texas’ five double-digit scorers. The sophomore gave the Mountaineers fits in both games against WVU and has a four-game streak of double-figure games going right now.

WVU will get point guard Madisen Smith back in its lineup after she missed the Mountaineers’ most recent win over TCU on Saturday. She is the team’s most important veteran leader and its second-leading scorer.

“Overall, I thought we did a really good job of trying to find ways to do things maybe a little bit differently,” Plitzuweit said.

Sophomore JJ Quinerly, who has established herself as a reliable scorer in clutch moments this saeson, led the squad with 23 points in Smith’s absence. However, Plitzuweit gave some credit to her quieter contributors, like guards Danni Nichols and Savannah Samuel, for the victory.

The Longhorns present a much different challenge than the Horned Frogs. Texas will be West Virginia’s fifth ranked opponent of the season, and the Mountaineers have taken just win in those tries so far.

Tip-off between WVU and No. 24 Texas is set for 7 p.m. ET at the WVU Coliseum. It will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.