The Baylor Athletics department is in no shortage of successful sports and the past few days saw the victories of Men’s Basketball over Norfolk State, Women’s Basketball over the University of Hawaiʻi, Women’s Tennis over Iowa State, and Softball over McNeese State (try and name another school with sports like these!). The Women’s and Men’s Basketball teams have already had immensely successful regular seasons (both earned Big 12 Championship titles, which you can read about here and here) despite struggling a bit with injuries and exhaustion in the conference tournament. With the teams’ wins over their tournament opponents in the first round of play, the men and women both earned their tickets to round of 32!
Advancing to the next rounds is difficult for any team no matter what their seed (which we’ve seen numerous times already during March Madness with a few Cinderella teams), though the No. 2 Women’s Basketball team made their first round victory over No. 15 Hawaiʻi look like a walk in the park after the first half adjustments. Today at the Ferrell Center, the Bears were only up by 9 at half against the Rainbow Wahine, but a surge of athleticism and dropped shots propelled Baylor to out-shoot Hawaiʻi by 50 for a final score of 89-49. Four of the Bears scored in double digits, led by senior PG Jordan Lewis who had 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Senior F/two-time Big 12 Player of the Year NaLyssa Smith and senior C Queen Egbo each notched a double-double with the former having 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 assists and the latter scoring 10 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. Sophomore G Sarah Andrews added 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. The team overall shot 53% (35-66) of field goals, 33.3% (7-21) of 3s, and 63.2% (12-19) of free throws.
The No. 1 seed Men’s Basketball team also rolled past their opponent with a 85-49 win against No. 15 Norfolk State. The Bears never looked rattled and they found their groove quite quickly in the first half at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. Five of the Bears had double-digit point performances led by senior G/F Matthew Mayer with a team-high 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block. Freshman F Jeremy Sochan had 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists; senior F Flo Thamba recorded 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block; junior G Adam Flager inked 11 points, 3 assists, and 1 steal; and senior PG James Akinjo had a double-double with 10 points, 10 assists, and 4 rebounds. The team overall shot 57.4% (31-54) of field goals, 40.7% (11-27) of 3s, and 57.1% (12-21) of free throws.