GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

Connecticut 69, Baylor 67

By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Sports Writer

SAN ANTONIO - Paige Bueckers scored 28 points and top seed UConn used a huge run spanning the final two quarters to beat No. 2 Baylor 69-67 and reach a 13th consecutive Final Four in the women's NCAA Tournament.

It took a last-second stop to keep that streak going.

The Huskies (28-1) trailed 55-45 late in the third quarter before scoring 19 consecutive points, including 10 by the freshman phenom Bueckers, who became the third first-year player to make first-team All-America.

Baylor (28-3) wouldn't go away as Bueckers went cold in the final minutes. Trailing 64-55, NaLyssa Smith, an All-American herself, ended the Lady Bears' drought with 6:47 left and sparked a 12-4 burst that got Baylor within one after Dijonai Carrington converted two free throws with 19.3 seconds left.

After a timeout, Baylor fouled Christyn Williams, who missed both free throws to give the Lady Bears one last chance.

Carrington, who finished with 22 points, drove the lane to the left and missed a contested jumper from the baseline. Williams corralled the rebound and was fouled with 0.8 seconds left. She hit one of the free throws before Bueckers stole the inbounds pass at the buzzer.

No one has played UConn tougher over the last decade than Baylor, with each team winning four of the matchups. The Lady Bears (28-3) had won the previous two, including a 74-58 win at Connecticut in January of 2020.

They were supposed to meet this past January, but Baylor coach Kim Mulkey came down with COVID-19 around Christmas and the game was canceled.

The game got off to a fast start for UConn, which jumped out to a 16-4 lead behind Bueckers. But Baylor was just getting going. The Lady Bears closed the action-packed first quarter with a 20-10 run and trailed 26-24 after one.

The offense slowed down in the second quarter. There were 11 blocks combined in the first half, including seven by Baylor, which led 39-37 at the break.

Carrington provided a huge spark off the bench, scoring 14 points to go along with two steals and a block in the opening 20 minutes. MO< Baylor went on a 10-2 run in the third quarter to push ahead 55-45. Then UConn took over, scoring the final eight points of the period. Williams and Bueckers highlighted an 8-0 spurt that made it a two-point game heading into the fourth quarter.

March 29, 2021


Baylor
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
N. Smith F 40 6-13 2-2 0-1 4-13 3 2 2 1 3 14
Q. Egbo C 33 3-9 2-4 0-0 4-9 1 2 0 2 3 8
M. Ursin G 39 5-15 2-4 1-1 2-6 3 0 0 1 3 13
D. Richards G 30 2-4 0-0 0-0 0-2 2 0 1 2 2 4
T. Oliver G 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 0 0 2
D. Carrington 37 7-22 7-10 1-7 4-7 3 1 2 3 2 22
S. Andrews 11 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 1 2
C. Bickle 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 1 1 2
H. Gusters 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   199 26-66
(.394)
13-20
(.650)
2-9
(.222)
16-41 13 5 6 12 15 67


UConn
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
O. Nelson-Ododa F 29 1-3 1-2 0-0 2-8 4 5 0 2 4 3
A. Edwards F 26 2-5 0-2 0-0 3-7 1 3 1 2 4 4
P. Bueckers G 40 10-22 5-6 3-7 0-3 0 0 3 2 0 28
E. Westbrook G 40 4-8 0-0 3-5 1-6 2 0 2 2 3 11
C. Williams G 40 8-18 3-6 2-5 2-7 0 0 0 4 2 21
A. Griffin 25 1-4 0-0 0-0 1-3 2 2 0 1 2 2
Totals   200 26-60
(.433)
9-16
(.563)
8-17
(.471)
12-39 9 10 6 13 15 69


Officials: LIsa Jones, Brian Hall, Karen Preato




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