Oregon-Baylor game time approaches

Oregon-Baylor game time approaches

Oregon-Baylor game time approaches

Kalani Brown scored 22 points and Lauren Cox added 21 as the Lady Bears (36-1) held off Final Four newcomer OR 72-67 on Friday night to reach the women's championship game for the first time since 2012. Chloe Jackson delivered a go-ahead layup with 39 seconds left, and Brown and Cox finished out the victory with free throws for the overall No. 1 seed. "We had our chances down the stretch".

The Bears took control early, working the ball into the post on offense while holding Ionescu - Oregon's National Player of the Year - off the board in building a 19-15 lead in the first quarter. Baylor secured the rebound and Cox hit two free throws on the other end to make it a two-possession game with 18 seconds left.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year announced via The Players Tribune she would be returning for her senior season. "My teammates and I, our coaches, our fans, this program - we're not going on a 'run, ' you know what I mean?" Hey, we made the most out of what we had this year.

Baylor and OR traded shots, changing the lead 12 times throughout the game, but in the last minute the game was tied.

What's new? At a time when TV ratings for women's basketball are rising, the Ducks' Final Four appearance brings a fresh dose of excitement. She gave OR a 34-33 halftime lead by making a long 3 while being bumped to the ground by Baylor's DiDi Richards.

In the letter Ionescu also recounts a amusing story about Kobe Bryant doing a video breaking down her game, but it was on ESPN+ ... which neither she, nor any of her friends, had a subscription to. "We saw bits and pieces of it here and there". OR coach Kelly Graves knows exactly what kind of challenge lies ahead for her.

"No, it still hurts", the coach said.

Tied at 67 with less than a minute remaining, Ionescu used a screen from Hebard to create minimal separation from Landrum, who was able to get back in position to force an off-balance layup attempt. This is going to be a team that's loaded. The Lady Bears are 218-1 all-time when shooting better than 50 percent from the field.

Oti Gildon cleaned up Boley's 3-point misfire for an easy putback to halve the deficit, and teams traded baskets before OR went on a 7-0 run. Sabally had 16, and Erin Boley had 14.

Boley drained a 3-pointer to give OR a 55-52 lead with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter before Brown answered with a jumper on the next possession.

On Saturday night the deadline that Sabrina Ionescu had to let the NCAA know her intentions for next season came and went.

Mulkey gave Ionescu a hug and talked to her for a few moments in the postgame handshake line.

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