college basketball

Reigning Women's Champ Baylor in 12th Consecutive Sweet 16

DiJonai Carrington #21 of the Baylor Lady Bears chases down a loose ball during the first half in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at the Alamodome on March 21, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Moon Ursin and DiJonai Carrington both had 21 points as reigning women's national champion Baylor advanced to its 12th consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 with a 90-48 victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.

Queen Egbo had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, along with seven blocked shots for the Lady Bears (27-2). DiDi Richards had nine assists.

All-America forward NaLyssa Smith finished with 15 points, all but two of those coming after halftime for Baylor. Smith got her second foul only seven minutes into the game, and didn't return until getting two quick layups after the break.

Georgia Amoore had 18 points with four 3-pointers to lead Virginia Tech (15-10), which had opened its first NCAA Tournament since 2006 with a win over Marquette.

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But the Hokies and their high-scoring duo of Aisha Sheppard and center Elizabeth Kitley -- ranked second and third in the ACC, both averaging just over 18 points a game -- struggled against the Lady Bears, the national leader in field goal percentage defense for the fourth season in a row.

The Hokies were already down 27-14 when Sheppard finally scored her first points on a 3-pointer with 6:19 left in the first half, and she added only a free throw before halftime. It was another 2 1/2 minutes before Kitley scored a basket.

Sheppard finished with 15 points and Kitley had six points, along with six rebounds.

Ursin was coming off a career-high 24 points in Baylor's tournament-opening 101-52 win over Jackson State at the Alamodome, where the rest of the games will be played.

Baylor never trailed after scoring the game's first seven points in first two minutes. The Lady Bears shot 50% from the field (35 of 70).

BICKLE'S EXTRA TIME
After Smith got her second foul with 2:49 left in the first quarter, Caitlin Bickle returned to the game until almost the end of the half. Bickle made two 3-pointers from the top of the key -- after the second, Mulkey turned and smiled while getting a high-five from one of her players on the bench. Bickle also drew two charges before the break, and played 13 minutes in the first half -- she came into the game averaging only 14.6 minutes per game. She never played in the second half.

UP NEXT
Baylor plays River Walk Region No. 6 seed Michigan in the Sweet 16 this weekend. The Wolverines are in their first regional semifinals after a 70-55 win over third-seeded Tennessee on Tuesday.

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