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No. 1 UConn Women’s Basketball Falls to No. 8 Baylor, 68-57

The Huskies drop their first regular season game in four years.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The UConn women’s basketball team lost its first regular season game since 2014 to No. 8 Baylor, 68-57, in road game where the Huskies never seemed to have their act together.

This is the Huskies’ first regulation loss since falling to Notre Dame in the 2013 Big East Tournament and their first regular season loss in regulation since Feb. 13, 2013 against Baylor. This is the first time UConn has lost by double-digits since 2012.

From the start, Baylor’s defense gave UConn plenty of issues. The Huskies struggled to find good looks and missed open shots. They also struggled against the Lady Bears’ size in the paint with three shots blocked and just six points in the paint in the first half.

However, UConn did capitalize on the offensive glass. They grabbed nine offensive rebounds and turned them into six second-chance points. Overall, the Huskies rebounded well, grabbing as many rebounds (23) as Baylor in the first 20 minutes.

At one point, the Lady Bears held a nine-point lead, but the Huskies whittled it down to one point at halftime thanks to a strong rebound and basket just before the halftime buzzer from Katie Lou Samuelson.

In the second half, Samuelson tied the game with a tough three-pointer. But Baylor responded with a pair of baskets and then mounted a 5-0 run to push the lead to 41-34, prompting Geno Auriemma to take a timeout.

With Walker and Christyn Williams struggling, both went to the bench in favor of Mikayla Coombs and Batouly Camara. The Huskies got within two points but again couldn’t completely close the gap. Baylor responded by going on a 8-0 run to extend their lead to double-digits. The Lady Bears also had a raucous crowd behind them.

Williams came back in the game and immediately hit back-to-back three-pointers to get the deficit to a manageable four points at the end of the quarter.

However, Baylor opened the final quarter with an 10-2 run to take a 12 point lead with 4:29 remaining as they ended up winning comfortably.

UConn simply had no answer to Baylor’s post defense, scraping together only 10 points in the paint and making just nine shots inside the three-point line. The Lady Bears swatted eight shots as well.

The Huskies shot just 29.4 percent from the field, their worst shooting performance in the last two decades.

Napheesa Collier carried the team on her back at times with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Katie Lou Samuelson picked up her fourth-straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but shot 4-16 from the field and 2-10 from three.

With the loss, UConn falls to 11-1 on the season. Next, they open conference play at Houston on Jan. 6 at noon.