As Andrew chronicled in his recent post, #10 ranked Baylor Women’s Basketball (9-2) is not playing Houston Baptist tonight; instead, they are hosting the University of North Texas Mean Green (6-3).
While this should be a tougher test than HBU, the Bears are still expected to win. Here are three stats that will ultimately determine the game.
Two Point Offense
Baylor should be able to score at will in the paint in this game. They make 51% of their two point shots (37th in the country), and North Texas’s defense allows opponents to shoot their season average from two (179th in the country).
The Bears may be tempted to take threes in this game, but that isn’t their strength (31%, 142nd in the country), and UNT is relatively better at perimeter defense, holding opponents to 5 percentage point worse shooting from three (43rd in the country).
Three Point Defense
North Texas is slightly above average shooting the ball inside the arc, making 47% of their two point shots (116th in the country), but Baylor is elite defending inside the arc, holding opponents to 9 percentage points worse shooting than they average in other games (11th in the country).
The Mean Green should have better luck on the perimeter. They make 35% of their three point shots (58th in the country), and Baylor holds opponents to (only) 5 percentage points worse shooting on three point attempts (38th in the country).
UNT’s offense will go as far their three point shooting. If Baylor can play lock-down perimeter defense, it will be a long night for UNT.
Baylor is an excellent team protecting the ball, and that shouldn’t change against North Texas. Baylor turns the ball over on 19% of possessions (26th in the country), and UNT gives their opponents a 1 percentage point better turnover rate than they average in other games (204th in the country).
When UNT has the ball, they turn it over on 33% of possessions (164th in the country), but Baylor is even worse than UNT at forcing turnovers. The Bears give their opponents a 2 percentage point better turnover rate than they average in other games (250th in the country).
Baylor should sneak out additional possessions due to the turnover differential, even if they won’t need to to win this game!