Through the first 20 minutes of today’s NCAA Tournament match against second-seeded Baylor Bears, the University of Hawaii Rainbow women’s basketball team was within striking distance of the lead thanks to Amy Atwell’s first-half attack.
With a 34-point third quarter led by All-American NaLyssa Smith, the host Bears reaffirmed their dominance. Baylor won the NCAA Tournament second round with an 89-49 win over the UH Rainbow Wahine at Ferrell Center in Waco Tx.
Baylor (28-6), will take on South Dakota the 10th seed. The Coyotes upset the Rebels of Mississippi in the first game.
Atwell made four 3-pointers, scoring 20 points in the opening half. The Wahine were trailing 38 to 29 at halftime.
Bear’s Smith had four points at the half. Then Smith went 7-for-8 from field in a 17-point third quarter. The Bears outscored Wahine 34-8 during the third quarter to make it a blowout.
Bears guard Jordan Lewis led Baylor with 23 points for the Bears on 7-for-8 shooting. Smith was second with 21.
Atwell made her first two 3-pointers for the Rainbow Wahine, giving them a lead of 6-2. With 1:54 remaining in the first quarter, Atwell, was then called for her second foul, charging, and went to the bench.
Nnenna Orji, a UH forward, scored inside and drawing a foul and hitting from the charity stripe. Baylor’s lead was reduced to 14-12 with 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Atwell returned to the game in the fourth quarter. She stopped a Baylor run with her third 3-pointer. Spiller made a long-range jumper, and the Wahine were trailing 26-21 with 5:51 minutes remaining in the half.
The Bears responded quickly with an additional eight-point surge, including two baskets from Egbo in the paint.
Orji scored inside, and Atwell made three more free throws to give her 20 points to end the half. Baylor’s lead was cut to 99-29 at halftime.
Smith was held to just four points in the first quarter, but Smith opened the third quarter with a putback as well as a 3-pointer that sparked a 17-3 run. After Lewis scored on a drive and Smith’s putback from a missed free throw extended Baylor’s lead 53-32. The Bears pulled away and led 72-37 going into the fourth quarter.