This evening, 9th ranked Baylor Women’s Basketball (15-4) hosts conference-leader and 18th ranked Oklahoma Sooners (18-3) in a rematch of last month’s 83-77 OU victory.
Baylor played well in their loss, and the Bears never trailed until the final three minutes of the game. Here are three stats that Baylor needs to do well in to get ahead and stay ahead this time around.
Three Point Defense
In my preview of their first matchup, I wrote that Oklahoma likes to take a lot of threes, and they shoot them reasonably well. For the season, 40% of their field goals are from behind the arc (51st in the country), and they make 36% of them (23rd in the country).
Against Baylor, the Sooners took 27 threes (44% of field goal attempts) and made 14 of them (52%).
Baylor has to do better on perimeter defense. This isn’t their strength — their opponents shoot their season average against Baylor — but +16 percentage points won’t cut it.
Free Throw Percentage
Baylor essentially shot the ball as well as expected from both inside and outside the three point line last game against OU. This was a pleasant surprise, as OU is an above average defensive team.
What wasn’t a surprise was Baylor’s 25 trips to the free throw line. Oklahoma allows their opponents to take 2.5 more free throws per 100 field goal attempts than their opponents typically do (250th in the country), and Baylor is really good at getting to the free throw line with a free throw rate of 33% (52nd in the country).
Baylor made a decent percent of their free throws (19 for 25, 76%), which was better than their season-average free throw percentage (72%, 121st in the country). Unfortunately, the six they missed were the difference in the game.
Baylor dominated the offensive and defensive glass when they last played Oklahoma. The Bears collected 39% of available offensive rebounds (12 of 31) and held the Sooners to 25% of their available offensive rebounds (9 of 36). This was a big reason why Baylor was able to stay ahead despite OU’s hot shooting, and I expect it to be similarly lopsided in their rematch.
For the season, Baylor gets 34% of their offensive rebound opportunities (89th in the country), and Oklahoma typically allows their opponents to register their season average (150th in the country).
On defense, Baylor holds their opponents to a 4.5 percentage point lower offensive rebounding rate than their opponents typically average (47th in the country). Oklahoma is pretty bad at offensive rebounding anyway; they gather only 30% of available offensive rebounds (200th in the country).
Her Hoops Stats Prediction: Baylor 84, Oklahoma 74