Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Region Sweet 16 Game Breakdowns

Oklahoma City Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns
#1 Baylor vs. #4 Louisville
Baylor punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 for the ninth consecutive season after blowing out California 86-46 on Monday night in Waco. Alexis Prince and Nina Davis ended their careers at the Ferrell Center in style scoring 16 points each. Kristy Wallace added 10 points as well on 4-of-9 shooting. Defensively, the Bears wore down the Golden Bears over the course of four quarters. California only shot 29.3 percent from the floor. Baylor also did a nice job of not letting anyone else beat them other than Kristine Anigwe, who scored 20 of the 46 points. Alexis Jones also got some more valuable playing time as she returns to full strength from a late season injury. As the competition gets tougher for the Bears, it will become more and more critical for Baylor to get more scoring and minutes out of Jones as her health improves.
Louisville handed Tennessee their first ever loss in program history in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by a score of 75-64. Asia Durr and Mariya Moore led the way for the Cardinals as they scored 23 and 19 points, respectively. The great shooting performance for Moore was a big plus for Louisville as you know the Bears are going to try to make someone other than Asia Durr beat them. It is also going to be important for the Cardinals to knock down some open shots early to limit the Bears in the transition game. In addition, it will be very interesting to see if Coach Jeff Walz decides to play a tight, compact half-court style defensively in order to dare Baylor to beat them from the perimeter in order to limit the damage from the Bears frontcourt players. This game has a chance to rival the 82-81 classic that took place in the 2013 Sweet 16 if both teams get rolling offensively.
Mississippi State moved on to the Sweet 16 after dispatching of DePaul 92-71 on Sunday at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville. The Bulldogs have been on fire so far in the 2017 NCAA Tournament as they are averaging 101 points per game so far. Blair Schaefer led Mississippi State with 18 points against the Blue Demons to lead an offensive attack that had six players score in double figures. Also, it was the ability to attack the basket and get to the foul line for Mississippi State that ended up paying huge dividends. They made 26-of-30 shots from the foul line. Rebounding is going to be very important in this matchup with Washington for the Bulldogs as they will have to hold their own against Chantel Osahor, who has been the best in the sport at taking over the rebounding battle. Chinwe Okorie is going to have a battle on her hands with Osahor all game long.
Washington made history on Monday against Oklahoma in their 108-82 win over the Sooners. The Huskies secured a trip to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season, which is a first in program history and another sign of the program’s evolution. Kelsey Plum set the single season scoring record on Monday night as she surpassed Jackie Stile previous record of 1,062 points after her 38 point performance. Plum also recorded her first career double-double as well as she dished out 11 assists. The balance offensively has to excite head coach Mike Neighbors right now as Natalie Romeo and Aarion McDonald combined for 38 points to compliment another rock solid effort from Chantel Osahor, who scored 16 points and gathered 15 rebounds. As a team, Washington shot over 57 percent from the floor and they moved the ball very well keeping Oklahoma off balance all night long. Moving forward the Huskies will need to continue to aggressively go at Mississippi State and try to get the into 80’s and 90’s. Look for these two teams to put on a show at both ends of the court and take this game into the fourth quarter with the outcome in doubt.