Baylor’s new coach has the Bears producing similar results against Texas. This means that they will win. NaLyssa scored 28 points, while No. 9 Baylor’s dominance against No. 13 Texas won Sunday’s match 63 to 55. This was the Bears second win over the Longhorns in as many days. Texas beat Baylor 75-63 Friday night. The quick rematch was necessary because Baylor’s COVID-19 issues forced them to reschedule their Jan. 9 match. The Bears have won 13 consecutive games over Texas (7-3 Big 12), and 27 of the 28 previous meetings in this rivalry.
Nicki Collen is a first-year coach and these consecutive wins are a huge boost to her program. Kim Mulkey was a three-time national champion coach. She left this season for LSU. Collen stated, “It’s certainly a lot pressure.” “But I have good players.” Smith stated that the Bears were determined not to lose the streak of victories over Texas, even though it was in doubt after a double-digit deficit in the second period. “It’s something we take pride in. Smith stated that it’s almost like it’s a question of who is the best Texas team. “Our goal at Baylor is win Texas every year.” Texas (15-6-55) led Texas by 10 in the third quarter. The Bears regrouped behind Smith who played nearly the entire fourth quarter without missing a single point. With 1:06 remaining, the Bears led 59 to 52 with four consecutive free throws by Smith and a sprinting layup after a crosscourt pass. Smith scored 18 points in the second period.
Smith stated, “It was a mindset that we weren’t going to lose this game.” I just wanted it. “I knew I had to be smart.” To keep their pursuit for a 12th consecutive conference title alive, the Bears needed to win. The Bears have suffered three losses in the league this season, which is the same as their five previous seasons. They are also below Oklahoma and Iowa State. Collen stated, “There are a lot people who expect us not to be perfect. And I’m not.” The belief grows every time we win a close game. We need help now with three losses… Every game is important for us.” Baylor was unable to overcome a Texas defense that wouldn’t allow Smith to penetrate or allowed easy entry passes. The Longhorns won the first half by closing it with a 23-8 run. This was fueled in part by a series of Baylor turnovers. Baylor shot only 26% in the halftime and Smith was the Bears’ only player to score more than one basket during the first two quarters.
In the third quarter, Smith was the leader of the Baylor team. Smith scored 10 points in the quarter. Baylor used a 15-6 run for a 45-43 advantage heading into the fourth. Joanne Allen Taylor scored 18 points for Texas. Two huge plays in the second period benefited PIVOTAL PLAYS Baylor. Collen challenged Sarah Andrews’ charging call before Smith scored. After a review, Baylor won the basket and ball in the crucial run to overcome the huge deficit in the third. Texas never led again after Ja’Mee Asberry’s desperate 3-pointer, which made it 50-50 with just 5:01 remaining in the fourth, barely beat the shot clock.
Baylor: After a difficult first half, the Bears reacted well to the second and were able to improve their shooting with four 3-pointers. They were also excellent at the free-throw line, making 17 out of 19 attempts. Texas: The Longhorns are the Big 12’s leader in scoring defense, turnovers forcible and steals per match. They had the Bears stumped in halftime. However, the Longhorns’ offensive errors proved costly. Twelve turnovers resulted in 19 Baylor points, while the Longhorns shot only 36% on their home courts. Schaefer stated that “we probably left it in our locker room (at halftime).” “We had too many people shooting too many shots that they don’t practice.” The stats aren’t lying. “You’re open because you have a reason.”
Baylor: Kansas State hosts the Bears on Wednesday
Texas: Texas Tech hosts the Longhorns on Wednesday.