With a game like this, its hard not to simply throw out, "All we do is win" and drop the mic. From when we first saw Baylor's draw in the tournament, I really liked our region. I was honestly never worried about the first two rounds, and I liked our matchup with Iowa. The Sweet Sixteen for Oklahoma City is a story of tradition, success, and then newcomer Iowa. Baylor came poised and ready to play and clearly watched the game tape.
Iowa was a team with a familiar look. It was a team that was led by a solid point guard and a number of players could score at any given time, with 4 different players averaging double digits and a fifth averaging 9.1 points. On paper, this looked like it could be a close game. But the paper doesn't show the experience of Baylor. And this is a team that went 10-6 against top 50 teams and had its worst loss against RPI 106 Illinois.
Baylor started off hot, opening 8-0, and pulling ahead 36-23 with 4:23 left in the half. However, Iowa would not go quietly into the night and went on an 11-0 run of their own to bring it within 2 with just 68 seconds left in the half. However, thanks to unstoppable Kristy Wallace and reliable Alexis Prince, Baylor sank two 3-point shots to give Baylor a comfortable 8 point lead in the half.
Baylor came out of the halftime ready to play and Sune Agbuke picked up the first bucket of the half to give Baylor a double digit lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. While there was a moment where Sune Agbuke inadvertently clocked Doolittle and it seemed to rally Iowa, the rally was short lived and Baylor held on for the win.
Every single player deserves credit for this team performance. The announcers even commented that this was a more complete team than the 2012 team. However, the game ball goes without a doubt to Sune Agbuke. Sune, who averages 6.3 points and 5.9 rebounds a game, had a career game where she scored 23 points and pulled down 12 boards. Kristy Wallace was unstoppable as well tonight, picking up 17 points and going 7-8 on the floor, only missing on a single 2-point attempt. Nina Davis continued to do her thing where you stare in awe how she got the rock in the bucket and picked up 20 points. Niya Johnson picked up a double-double getting 10 points and 16 assists and was 3 rebounds shy of a triple-double. Oh, and she became the all-time assist leader for Baylor, bypassing Odyssey Sims on a night where Sims watched her beat her record.
Baylor faces Notre Dame on Sunday at 7:30pm on ESPN. If there's a way for you to get to Oklahoma City, do it. Baylor deserves our support and this will be an incredible opportunity to get revenge for last year's loss and this game is close enough for Baylor to get the home court advantage Notre Dame had last year. If you can't make it to Oklahoma City, make sure your TV is tuned to ESPN on Sunday night. If you don't own a TV, go to a watch party. If there isn't a watch party in your city, stream it online. If you don't have watch ESPN, follow it on game tracker. This team deserves your support however you can give it and every game from here on out should be a thriller.