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UConn women’s basketball falls to No. 6 Baylor, 74-58

The Huskies fell apart in the final quarter.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

A fourth quarter collapse spelled the end of UConn women’s basketball’s 98-game home winning streak as the Huskies fell to the Baylor Lady Bears, 74-58. It was UConn’s biggest defeat since the 2007 Elite Eight against LSU and its biggest home loss since 2005.

With 6:36 left in the game, Christyn Williams hit a jumper to bring the Huskies within one. From there, UConn failed to score for over five and a half minutes as Baylor went on a 15-0 run to turn a back-and-forth battle into a rout.

Defense prevailed early on, with UConn missing seven of its first eight shots and Baylor making just three of their eight. The two teams traded small leads before the Lady Bears hit seven field goals in a row to build an eight-point lead.

But a late run from the Huskies — capped by a steal followed by an and-one from Megan Walker — helped them re-claim the lead. That lead would only be temporary, though, as Baylor went into the half up one thanks to a Te’a Cooper layup with 27 seconds remaining.

At the midway point, Walker and Williams combined for 28 of UConn’s 34 points. Those two shot a combined 9-19 while the rest of the team made just two of 17 shots from the floor.

After just three points in the first half, Crystal Dangerfield came alive out of the break with seven points in a row to get the deficit down to just two points. With the opening basket of the fourth quarter, UConn pulled within one point and appeared to set the stage for a dramatic finish.

It would be just the opposite, though. The Huskies’ offense came apart in the final period and made just two shots, one of which came in the final minute after the lead was already beyond double-digits.

Williams did all she could, scoring a team-high 21 points on 8-17 shooting. Despite grabbing eight rebounds in the first half, the sophomore came away with just one in the final 20 minutes. Along with Williams, Dangerfield and Walker carried the load with 16 and 18 points, respectively. Together, the trio scored 55 of UConn’s 58 points.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa was shut out, failing to score on eight shot attempts. She was subbed out with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter and did not return.

As a team, UConn made just 29 percent of its shots. Despite grabbing 17 offensive rebounds, the Huskies only converted those into 10 points.

Coming into the game, Baylor averaged just 10.3 3-point shots per game. However, the Lady Bears caught UConn off-guard with 21 shots from beyond the arc, hitting seven.

After the loss, the Huskies will have a chance to bounce back against the Houston Cougars on Saturday at the XL Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. on SNY.