Paige Bueckers Had 28 As UConn Beat Baylor In A Thriller To Reach Their 13th Straight Final Four

Monday night had as much basketball as any fan could handle, with the men’s and women’s Elite 8 starting and a full 11-game NBA slate. In the early window, the UConn-Baylor women’s game took center stage as two of the best teams in the country went toe-to-toe in an absolute thriller that saw each team seemingly take control at various points in the second half, only for the game to be in serious doubt down the stretch.

Baylor was the first to take control in the third quarter, with DiJonai Carrington leading the Bears to a 10-point lead in the third quarter as Baylor simply imposed their will physically and dominated for a stretch. Carrington finished the game with 22 points, seven rebounds, and three assists to lead the Bears.

However, UConn had the answer in the form of freshman phenom Paige Bueckers, who was the catalyst on a 19-0 UConn run to end the third and start the fourth — that coincided with an unfortunate hamstring injury to Baylor’s DiDi Richards. Bueckers showed why she is one of the game’s elite shotmakers already as a freshman, burying some big buckets to pull the Huskies back in front.

The Bears would not go away that easily, though, clawing their way back into the game with great defense and their strong interior presence. Down the stretch it was consistently a one-possession affair, and after Christyn Williams, who was sensational with 22 points, missed a pair of critical free throws late, Baylor found itself with the ball down just one point with 17.1 seconds on the clock. Unsurprisingly, they went to Carrington, but they seemed too concerned with milking the clock rather than running some good action, leading to a tough Carrington fadeaway over two defenders.

Replays showed that Carrington had a legit gripe about being fouled on the play, as UConn’s defenders seemed to bring their arms down rather than staying vertical and made contact, but in a fourth quarter that saw a lot go uncalled, this wasn’t completely out of character for the way the game had been officiated. Still, it’s a brutal way for Baylor to go out with how well they played and this photo shows the serious contact on Carrington.

UConn was able to eek out a 69-67 win, but the Bears have some real gripes about how this game ended.