Fans are arriving at Amalie Arena, the 20,900-seat home of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning that will serve as host of the Division I semifinals Friday night and finals on Sunday. Now it's time for you to take this All-American game, this Final Four game, this hot prospect game, this OR women's basketball program-leading game. and take it to the next, next level.
OR failed to score after Satou Sabally hit a 3 with 1:40 to go to tie the game for the 12th time, at 67-67.
OR star Sabrina Ionescu had 18 points, six assists and four rebounds in 40 minutes, but she was 6 of 24 from the field, including 4 of 11 on 3-pointers. Listen, I'm telling you: "our practices are hard", said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey.
Saturday, the guard stated via The Players' Tribune that she will not leave OR and declare for the WBNA draft, which is Wednesday.
Getting a steady diet of passes underneath the basket were part of the reasons Brown and Cox came to Baylor.
" "Perseverance" was a big word", Mulkey said.
Junior guard Sabrina Ionescu ended up with 18 points in the Ducks' effort.
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. "She's really tough to guard off the screens, but I did the best I could to try to shut it down".
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Ionescu made just 6 of 24 field goal attempts, and the 25 percent shooting was her third worst in a game this season.
Forward Ruthy Hebard played for 35 minutes and battled against Cox and Brown.
Graves said the Ducks don't take solace in playing the top overall seed down to the wire. We've got a lot coming back. OR returns Ionescu, Sabally, Ruthy Hebard and Erin Boley in the starting lineup with Taylor Chavez, Lydia Giomi, Morgan Yaeger and Nyara Sabally also back and signees Jaz Shelly and Holly Winterburn in line to join them. This is a team that's going to be loaded.
"We're not going anywhere", Graves said during the Ducks" postgame press conference. It put Baylor up for good 69-67 in a game that featured 12 ties and 12 lead changes.
Baylor, which was 0-of-3 and outscored 36-0 from behind the 3-point line, shot 54.4 percent. The score at halftime was 34-33 in favor of the Ducks after Ionescu completed a miraculous 4-point play with eight seconds remaining in the second quarter. "I didn't", she said after the win.
Ionescu already holds the NCAA career record for triple-doubles with 18.