First Half: With everyone counting them out before the game even started, the Longhorns had their pedal to the metal from the opening tip as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game. They wasted no time executing their game plan on Brittney Griner, bumping her hard and forcing her into double teams every possession before sending her to the bench with two fouls at the 12:44 mark. Griner finished the half with only two points in nine minutes of play. The Bears forced 15 Texas turnovers and held the Longhorns to only 32.1 percent shooting. Imani McGee-Stafford led the charge for Texas in what was an overall sloppy half, compiling eight points and 11 rebounds. Baylor took a 34-25 lead into halftime.
Second Half: Texas kept the game tight to open the second half, continuing to pressure Griner. Empress Davenport lit a fire under the Longhorns by making her first three shots to open the half before McGee-Stafford hit a three-pointer with 16:25 left to cut the Baylor lead to four. Everything changed however after Griner found an opening and dunked the ball home with 15:05 to go, bringing the Baylor fans to their feet and energizing her teammates. Baylor proved too pesky on defense and too strong in the paint. Baylor finished the final 16 minutes on a 34-14 run while outscoring the Longhorns 38-20 in the paint for the game.
By the Numbers:
18: McGee-Stafford pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds despite being matched up with Griner the majority of the game.
31.6: Texas shot just 31.6 percent from the floor in the game against one of the best defenses in the country.
20: Baylor outscored Texas by 20 points in the final 16 minutes of regulation, turning a seven-point second-half lead into a 27-point victory.
Saturday was a momentous night in freshman McGee-Stafford’s career. Despite only shooting 31.3 percent from the field, she pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds as she continued to show the progression in her game. She showed no fear while going head-to-head with the best player in women’s basketball, playing 38 valuable minutes, a career high. She also knocked down her first career three-pointer in the game.
Next Time Out:
Texas will head to Manhattan, Kan. on Wednesday to battle Kansas State.