Lady Bears score monster upset of No. 1 UConn

Baylor senior center Kalani Brown works around Connecticut forward Napheesa Collier during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday in Waco. Associated Press

By Ben Everett | Sports Editor

No. 8-ranked Baylor women’s basketball defeated No. 1 UConn 68-57 Thursday night at the Ferrell Center to snap the Huskies’ 126-game regular season win streak.

The Lady Bears (10-1) picked up their first-ever win over a No. 1 team while holding the Huskies (11-1) to their lowest point total of the season.

Baylor senior center Kalani Brown, who led all players with 20 points and 17 rebounds, said the team was motivated by being the underdog.

“Everyone had a job and everyone executed,” Brown said. “It was a great team win … This is a very special group. We were the underdogs and I take pride in that.”

Baylor’s defense led the way. The Lady Bears held UConn to its lowest shooting percentage (29 percent) in over 20 years. Moreover, the Huskies had not lost a game by double digits since 2012. Baylor junior forward Lauren Cox led the Lady Bears with five blocks.

Junior guard Juicy Landrum sparked an early Baylor run, knocking down two 3-pointers to give the Lady Bears a 12-8 lead at the media timeout of the first quarter. Baylor was held scoreless for the final three minutes of the opening quarter, but held onto a 16-13 lead. Landrum was the only Lady Bear who made a 3-pointer in the game as Baylor went 3-for-9 overall from downtown.

Baylor jumped out to a nine-point lead two times during the second quarter, but three straight 3-pointers from UConn and a buzzer beater layup by Husky senior forward Katie Lou Samuelson cut the Baylor lead to 30-29 at halftime.

An and-one by Cox and a fastbreak layup by Brown brought the crowd back into the game and gave the Lady Bears a 41-34 lead just four minutes into the second half. Baylor took a 51-41 lead, but back-to-back 3-pointers by UConn freshman guard Christyn Williams made it a 51-47 game going into the final quarter.

Despite shooting 5-for-18 from the field, senior guard Chloe Jackson came through in the clutch for the Lady Bears. Jackson scored seven points in the fourth quarter, including two mid-range jumpers, to seal the 68-57 win.

Jackson, who played shooting guard at LSU, plays the majority of her minutes at point guard because sophomore point guard Alexis Morris was dismissed before the season. Cox said Jackson has been impressive this season in her new position.

“Chloe’s done a great job,” Cox said. “Moving from the [shooting guard] to the [point guard] is a tough thing to do and she’s been a quick learner. She was a big part of the win tonight.”

Baylor opens Big 12 play against Texas Tech at noon Sunday in Lubbock.