XL Center–Teá Cooper scored 27 points and No. 6 Baylor used a strong fourth quarter to beat top-ranked Connecticut 74-58 on Thursday night, ending the Huskies’ 98-game home winning streak. This puts the Bears at 12-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to then #5 South Carolina when Lauren Cox was out with an injury.
The Huskies kept it close for most of the game, but Baylor never let UConn take a lead in the second half. This win should definitely help the Bears move up in the polls.
The UConn (12-1) fell one victory short from tying the D-1 record for home game winning streak tying its own NCAA record at 99, which the Lady Bears cut short. The Huskies’ previous loss at home came in the Big East final against Notre Dame on March 12, 2013. NaLyssa Smith put up a double-double, scoring 20 points and nabbing 12 boards.
No. 6 Baylor used a 19-4 run over the final 5:18 to snap No. 1 UConn’s winning streak, they just clapped down on the perimeter and made it difficult for the Huskies to shoot over the zone pressure.
UConn’s Christyn Williams scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the lost. Olivia Nelson-Ododa failed to score, missing all eight of her field-goal attempts but snatched six boards.
The Bears was up 33-25 late in the second quarter when UConn coach Geno Auriemma called a timeout. The Huskies responded by scoring the next nine points before Baylor made a basket before the half to take a 35-34 lead at halftime.
Baylor extended that lead to 55-52 after three quarters. The Huskies had a chance to make it a one-point game, but Walker missed a bunny with a few seconds left.
The Bears (12-1) went on a 15-0 run to build a 70-54 lead late in the fourth quarter. It was the largest lead held all evening by either team. UConn went scoreless for over five minutes before Megan Walker made a free throw with just over one minute left to go in the game.
Baylor Nalyssa Smith finished the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds and was an enforcer down low in the paint.
The 12-1 Huskies’ last loss before Thursday occurred when Notre Dame beat them 81-76 in the Final Four last season.
The 12-1 Lady Bears’ lone loss this season came when No. 4 South Carolina prevailed 74-59 on Nov. 30.
The all-time series between Baylor and UConn is now tied 4-4.
UConn will play Houston on Saturday afternoon, while Baylor will play against Oklahoma State at home Sunday afternoon.