WACO, TX – Fourth-ranked Baylor built a lead Thursday against South Florida and held on after No. 17 South Florida rallied late, giving the Lady Bears the victory and a spot in Sunday’s Preseason WNIT championship game against 19th-ranked DePaul. That game will be played at Baylor and tip off at 3 p.m. ET, to be televised by CBS Sports Network.
Baylor (3-0), which won the Preseason WNIT in 2011, took a nine-point lead after the first quarter, but the Bulls always stayed in range despite a cold night shooting from the floor. Courtney Williams hit a jumper to cut Baylor’s lead to 59-58 with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Baylor scored the next five points to regain control. Niya Johnson made a free throw to put the Lady bears up by three points, 66-63, and Williams missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the contest.
The Lady Bears were paced by Nina Davis, who had 15 points and six rebounds. Kalani Brown scored 11 points, and Johnson came through with 10 points, eight rebounds and 13 assists. Baylor survived committing 15 turnovers and shooting a modest 18-of-29 (62 percent) from the free-throw line.
South Florida guard Williams had 23 points but was just 10-of-29 from the field. Laura Ferreira had three 3-pointers and scored 14 points. Alisia Jenkins scored nine points and reeled in 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who shot just 31 percent from the field.