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Baylor Women's Basketball

No. 21 Baylor Women's Basketball upsets No. 4 Utah 84-77

November 14, 2023
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The Overview

In a highly-ranked matchup with a future conference foe, the Bears showed up and put their skill on full display. In an outing that never saw the Bears trail the Utes, BU held the lead for all but 1:19 when the game was tied, the first time at 2-2 in the first quarter, then again at 51-51 with 4:25 left in the third.

In front of a crowd of 4,808, the Bears broke the student attendance record. The exact numbers are not available at this time, but a Baylor Athletics official confirmed that the record was broken, and the previous record was in the 900’s.

The Bears were led by senior guard Sarah Andrews, who put up 18 points, 12 of which were three-pointers, with the remainder coming from the charity stripe.

Graduate guard Aijha Blackwell was the most notable player in the green and gold tonight. Contributing 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Bears, this is the best stat line Blackwell has produced since suffering a lower leg injury early last season. Head coach Nicki Collen was glad to see Blackwell back in her normal form.

“I thought there were lots of moments where we started to see the Aijha Blackwell that came from Missouri. That was attacking, finishing, 6-6 inside the arc. You know, the game started to come back to her and I saw her energy and her passion.” said Collen.

 

The Breakdown

First Quarter

It only took Dre’Una Edwards 2:41 to put up seven points, bringing the Bears up to a quick 9-2 lead. Edwards went 3-3 from the field with one three-pointer to get her seven points and contributed a defensive rebound and a steal on the other side of the court. Not trailing far behind, Blackwell put up six points in the first quarter, including the game’s first points after Darianna Littlepage-Buggs won the tip.

Coming into the game, Utah’s senior forward, Alissa Pili, was a big point of concern for the Bears. However, the Bears’ concerns were quickly put to rest when Pili headed to the bench just 1:56 into the game after being charged with two fouls. Pili did not return to the game until the second half, having missed one three-point shot and committing one turnover in the first two minutes of play. The Bears’ plan from the beginning was to put Pili on the bench as fast as possible.

“Our game plan was to get Pili in foul trouble, we thought the best way to defend her was her sitting on the bench. That worked really well early; worked a little bit faster than I anticipated. She’s such a nightmare on the low block, and if you go double, then they beat you on the arc, and so we made the decision that we were gonna make them go two by two and hope she occasionally missed, which she barely did.” said Collen.

Second Quarter

In the lowest-scoring quarter of the game, the Bears and Utes played a game more akin to chess, where they combined for 28 points and closely evaluated each other to make adjustments at the half. Baylor outscored Utah 15-13 in the second quarter to send the teams into the locker room with a six-point difference favoring BU 39-33.

Third Quarter

Coming out of the half, the Utes were glad to have Pili back on the hardwood. She stayed on the court for all 10 minutes of the quarter and went 4-4 from the field with one three-pointer and three free throws to give the Utes 12 points. The rest of her team combined for nine points in the third for a total of 21.

The Bears were a team effort in the third quarter led by junior guard Jada Walker, who put up seven points in the quarter—five other Bears combined for the other 19 points scored by Baylor.

Fourth Quarter

The Bears held a nine-point lead coming into the last 10 minutes of play with a score of 63-54. The Bears could do no wrong for the raucous crowd in the Ferrell Center. With less than a minute remaining, Andrews went to the line three times and went 6-6, bumping the Bears from a two-possession game to three with 0:55 remaining.

The Wrap Up

Utah head coach Lynne Roberts said, “Baylor beat us; there’s a lot that goes into that. I thought they played really well. We were just talking as a team, I think they played a little more inspired than we did. Maybe some of that was because we lost Pili a minute into the game with two fouls; she makes us go, especially on the road.”

Inspired is the right way to put it. In a game that no one would have blamed the Bears for losing, they came out and set the tone for the season, playing at a level that is expected of Baylor Basketball and walking out of the Ferrell Center looking forward to what’s next.

 

 

Discussion from...

No. 21 Baylor Women's Basketball upsets No. 4 Utah 84-77

4,544 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by Bear2014
Big guy
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A great night for Baylor WBB.
Killing Floor
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Super show today!
I am in SLC this week and had the pleasure of watching from a campus bar. Was wearing the green. Really big W.
Let’s Go!
Bear2014
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It's so great to feel good about Baylor sports again! Great win and trajectory for the season this is nickis first true team of hers (sans Sarah andrews) and I think we have nothing to worry about for our future. She is our coach and we will win a natty with her
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