Baylor looks to head to the Sweet 16 for the sixth straight season. However, California, a team that went to the Final Four last year stands in the way. Teams will tip off at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.
There is one huge story line in this game and that’ll be the showdown between two of the nation’s best point guards in Cal’s Brittany Boyd and Baylor’s Odyssey Sims. Both players are a finalist for Nancy Lieberman Award, handed out to the NCAA’s Point Guard of the Year.
“Anytime you have Odyssey Sims and Brittany Boyd on the court,” California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “I think that’s something to watch.”
California (22-9) defeated Fordham 64-63 on Saturday night when Boyd hit a runner with 14.6 seconds remaining. The length the length of Reshanda Gray to defend the last second gasp of the Rams to hold on to the victory. California over came a 7-point deficit in the second half.
This is one of the few teams in the nation’s that has the length to compete with the Lady Bears in the post. California is really tall as a team as well. They have eight of their 12 players are over 6-feet tall and that could cause a problem with Baylor. Cal’s Gray will have the responsibility of guarding freshman phenom, Nina Davis.
“After watching them play I saw that they are very athletic,” said Davis. “It’ll be pretty much an aggressive game. They get up and down the court. I guess you could say they play more like us up and down throughout the game, so I think it’ll be a good game.”
After playing a slow paced, low scoring game against Fordham, expect the Golden Bears to get out and run. They play at one of the fastest paces in the NCAA. Baylor is one of the highest scoring teams in the league, So, this could be a game that has two styles that really compliment each other.
“They run a lot,” said Sims. “They rebound the ball extremely well. It’s a team full of athletes. We’re going to have to defend because they can attack you off the dribble so it’ll be a great match up tomorrow night.”
Tonight will be the fifth meeting between Baylor and California. The Lady Bears own the 3-1 series lead over the Golden Bears. Their only postseason meeting was in the 1981, where the Golden Bears topped California 82-72 in the first round of the WNIT. Baylor won their last meeting, which was in Waco, 69-56 during the 2007-08 season.
If Baylor gets the win over Cal tonight, it’ll be their fifth straight trip to the Sweet 16. Three out of the last four years, Baylor’s season has been extended to the Elite 8 or the Final Four. Last season, the Lady Bears fell in the Sweet 16.
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