CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, ladies’s school basketball, and different school sports activities for espnW. Voepel started masking ladies’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.
HARTFORD, Conn. — For the second yr in a row, Baylor ended a UConn ladies’s basketball streak. And with their 74-58 victory Thursday night time on the XL Heart, the Girl Bears assured we’ll have one other No. 1 group this season.
You simply do not see UConn get its lunch cash taken away like this fairly often, and on this case it occurred due to a robust defensive effort within the second half by No. 6 Baylor. The Huskies scored simply six factors within the fourth quarter and had been 2-of-18 from the sphere in these ice-cold 10 minutes.
This was UConn’s worst loss since March 26, 2007, towards LSU LSU (by 23 within the NCAA event) and its worst dwelling loss since Dec. 5, 2005, versus North Carolina (additionally by 23).
The Huskies are identified for his or her streaks; this one was for dwelling victories, which stood at 98 and contains this constructing in downtown Hartford and Gampel Pavilion again on campus in Storrs. The Huskies had been one away from tying the report held by UConn groups from 2007-2012.
Baylor guard Te’a Cooper scored a game-high 27 factors as UConn suffered its worst dwelling loss since 2005. The Huskies, who had gained 98 straight dwelling video games, shot 2-for-18 within the fourth quarter. AP Picture/Jessica Hill
However Baylor, the defending nationwide champion, was in a position to hand the Huskies their first loss this season and their first at both of their dwelling arenas since March 12, 2013. That night time, throughout Breanna Stewart’s freshman season, they misplaced right here on the XL Heart to Notre Dame within the Huge East event closing. That was an emotional defeat for UConn however the Huskies adopted it by profitable the NCAA event the following 4 years in a row.
However UConn has been defeated within the nationwide semifinals the previous three years, and that is the primary season in fairly some time they do not have anybody on the group who has gained an NCAA title.
Baylor, in the meantime, has a complete group of gamers with championship expertise, together with three starters who returned from final yr’s squad. And within the second half, Baylor merely wore down UConn.
Final yr at Baylor’s Ferrell Heart in Waco, Texas, the Girl Bears beat then-No. 1 UConn 68-57, ending the Huskies’ regular-season wins streak at 126.
Thursday’s sport was shut at halftime, with Baylor holding a 35-34 lead. However the tables turned within the second half, and UConn completed the sport capturing simply 29 p.c from the sphere to Baylor’s 45 p.c.
Guard Te’a Cooper — one of many gamers who wasn’t on the nationwide championship group final yr; she was at South Carolina earlier than transferring as a graduate pupil — led Baylor with 27 factors. NaLyssa Smith had 20, and Lauren Cox, who has missed a lot of this season with a stress response, had 16 factors, six rebounds and 4 assists.