Baylor’s bigs loom large late, edge OR to reach NCAA title game

Baylor’s bigs loom large late, edge OR to reach NCAA title game

We have unfinished business.And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

With several of the top teams in the country, including Baylor, Notre Dame, UConn, Louisville and Mississippi State set to lose major contributors OR will be as well positioned as any to capitalize.

In the rush to find something - anything - to nitpick about the most dominant team in women's college basketball this season, a concern emerged among pundits in the days leading up to the Final Four that the Baylor Bears had not proved themselves in enough tight games, of all things. "If we can get here again, or sometime soon, now we'll have a little bit of experience and that always helps". "Credit them, a really good defensive team". I'm really proud of them. OR coach Kelly Graves had said coming into the game that his team would need to make at least 12 3-pointers to have a realistic chance. After a scoreless first quarter, Ionescu scored 12 in the second, which gave OR a one-point lead at halftime. Baylor was going to pound the ball inside. After the year, and career, she's had at OR, it's easy to understand why.

Satou Sabally pulled down an offensive rebound to reset the possession and actually hit the game-tying 3-pointer seconds later, but that was the only field goal OR converted in the final 6:12. The Ducks entered the game shooting 50.5 percent on the season.

"No, it still hurts", the coach said. ". We'll be back here". We've got a lot coming back. We've proven we're a program on the rise. "We're going to make it back here".

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Baylor, which was 0-of-3 and outscored 36-0 from behind the 3-point line, shot 54.4 percent.

OR actually got off 11 more shots than the Lady Bears, but shot just 37 percent for the game and 36 percent on 2-point field goals. OR coach Kelly Graves preached all week that his team would play its game, and it seemed to work for a while. "I actually brought her back with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter". Erin Boley added 14, including four 3-pointers, before fouling out. Boley hit two 3-pointers to give OR an 11-4 edge before Mulkey subbed in 6-foot-2 NaLyssa Smith to give the already imposing Baylor lineup even more size. Baylor's powerful post players combined to score 43 points on 18-of-26 shooting.

Ionescu likely would have been the top pick in the draft, as she dominated the women's tournament and is the all-time leader for triple-doubles with 18 in women's NCAA history.

Asked during a postgame news conference if she's made a decision about her future, Ionescu responded with a single word: "No".

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