Baylor won the first game despite UT shooting 63% from deep and picking up 16 offensive rebounds. Here are three stats that Baylor needs to do well in to replicate their earlier success.
Two Point Defense
How do you beat a team when they make almost two-thirds of their three point attempts? They only attempt 8 of them! Texas is one of the lowest ranked teams in the country with only 24% of their field goal attempts coming from behind the arc (323rd in the country).
Despite averaging 37% from deep (16th in the country), the way to beat Texas is forcing them to be efficient down low. The Longhorns are above average in two point shooting percentage at 46% (125th in the country), but Baylor is really good at contesting these interior shots. Baylor’s opponents register a 5.6 percentage point lower two point shooting percentage when they play Baylor than they do in other games (27th in the country).
I don’t expect Texas to shoot as poorly at home as they did in Waco when they went 17 for 51 from two (33%).
Baylor narrowly won the turnover battle 19 to 20 (27% to 28% turnover rate) in their first game against Texas — it will be a tough challenge for them to do so again.
Baylor is a good team at protecting the ball on offense. The Bears typically turn the ball over on 19% of their possessions (40th in the country), but Texas is an elite team at forcing turnovers. Their opponents typically have a 9 percentage point higher turnover rate when they play Texas than they do in other games (3rd in the country).
Texas is slightly worse at protecting the ball than Baylor with a turnover rate of 21% (81st in the country), but Baylor is much less adept at forcing turnovers than the Longhorns. Baylor’s opponents turn the ball over about as often as they do in other games when they play Baylor (160th in the country).
Free Throw Differential
In his post-game recap, Andrew Miner wrote, “[Baylor vs Texas] was an ultra physical contest between the two rivals and the officials let the girls play for the most part. Almost as if the referees themselves were not prepared for how physical this rivalry can get” and “[A] factor to watch will be how the officiating crew calls this next one.”
In their first meeting, Baylor took 24 free throws to Texas’ 21 and made 88% of them. I would be surprised if Baylor has the same success at the line in Austin.
Baylor is a good team at getting to the free throw line, and Texas is an undisciplined team defending without fouling. For every 10 field goal attempts, Baylor typically has 3.4 free throw attempts (31st in the country), and Texas’ opponents tend to take 1 more free throw attempt per 10 field goal attempts (335th in the country).
Despite their ability to get to the line, Baylor is a good, not great, team at shooting free throws. The Bears make 73% of their free throw attempts (102nd in the country), so their performance against Texas was a pleasant surprise.
Like Baylor, Texas has 3.4 free throw attempts for every 10 field goal attempts (33rd in the country), but Baylor doesn’t allow their opponents to get to the free throw line any more or less frequently than their opponents typically do (170th in the country).
At the line, Texas is noticeably worse than Baylor. The Longhorns make only 66% from the charity stripe (287th in the country).
Make sure to tune in to ESPN2 at 3pm CST! It should be a good one.
Her Hoop Stats Prediction: Texas 67, Baylor 65