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Baylor WBB vs South Dakota: Three Stats that Will Decide the Game

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The Baylor Women’s Basketball team hosts the South Dakota Coyotes this afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

South Dakota won the Summit League with an impressive 17-1 conference record, but they have not played a ranked opponent since losing to Texas A&M 58-44 back in November.

Here are three stats that will determine who moves on to the Sweet Sixteen.

Two Point Offense

South Dakota has a dominant defense, at least relative to their typical opponent. The Coyotes hold their opponents to a 4.8 percentage point lower two point shooting percentage (36th in the country) and a 4.2 percentage point lower three point shooting percentage (19th in the country) than their opponents average in other games.

Baylor is one of the most efficient offenses the Coyotes have played all year. The Bears average a 51% two point shooting percentage (15th in the country) and a 35% three point shooting percentage (36th in the country).

South Dakota has a played a few games against teams with a two point shooting percentage as high as Baylor’s: South Dakota State (3 times), Drake, and Creighton. In those games, their opponents shot 40%, 54%, 18%, 30%, 73% from two.

If Baylor can rack up points by feeding the ball inside, I think they win this game comfortably.

Three Point Defense

South Dakota is similar to Baylor in that they shoot both the two and three ball well and are below average in number in threes taken. For the season, the Coyotes average a 49% two point shooting percentage (41st in the country) and a 33% three point shooting percentage (80th in the country). They are 180th in three point rate.

Baylor does an above average job contesting shots on the perimeter — their opponents have a 1 percentage point lower three point shooting percentage when playing Baylor (122nd in the country) — but they absolutely punish their opponents inside, holding them to a 6 percentage point lower two point shooting percentage (14th in the country).

If I’m South Dakota’s head coach, I’m telling their leading scorer Chloe Lamb (37% three point shooter) and Liv Korngable (42% three point shooter) to stress Baylor’s defense with a barrage of three point attempts.

Turnover Differential

One stat that Baylor doesn’t have an advantage in is turnovers. Neither team turns the ball over frequently on offense, but South Dakota is really good at forcing turnovers on defense.

When Baylor has the ball, they turn it over on 17.8% of possessions (15th in the country). South Dakota forces their opponents into a turnover rate 5.6 percentage points higher than their opponents average in other games (18th in the country).

South Dakota turns the ball over less often than Baylor; they have a turnover rate of only 16.2% (4th in the country). That number is likely to hold this afternoon, as Baylor’s opponents essentially turn the ball over as frequently as they do in other games when they play Baylor.

Baylor has more ways to win this game than South Dakota does, but losing the turnover battle by a significant margin will open the door for an upset.

Her Hoop Stats Prediction: Baylor 70, South Dakota 61