On March 24, the Tech women’s basketball team traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for a Sweet Sixteen matchup against No. 1 seeded Baylor. Although Tech jumped out to an early lead, a 20-0 run in the first half by Baylor would be too hard for the Jackets to overcome, and they fell to the Bears 83-68.
Baylor was led by center Brittney Griner and forward Destiny Williams who combined for 53 points. The duo also combined for 15 rebounds and seven blocks, six of which came from Griner.
Tech’s senior center Sasha Goodlett had played outstanding all year long, so Griner’s outstanding production against her shows that she is one of the best players in the nation.
“Griner is the best player that I have ever coached against, and the best player that I have ever seen play. She is a tremendous talent on both ends of the floor,” said Head Coach MaChelle Joseph.
Tech was able to play with Baylor for the first four minutes of the game and actually led the Bears 10-6. From that point, Baylor dominated the first half, and led 26-10 just six minutes later. Baylor would add to its lead in the first half and headed into halftime with a 42-26 lead.
Baylor was able to build the first half lead due to its post play. Baylor outscored Tech 28-10 in the paint during the first half and Baylor forced seven turnovers during the run.
The teams traded baskets for most of the second half, and Tech was unable to cut into Baylor’s lead. With 6:29 left in the game, Griner received a long pass on a breakaway and dunked with two hands to give Baylor a 77-46 lead. The dunk was Griner’s second in as many games.
Following the Griner dunk, both teams elected to play younger players for the remainder of the game. During that time, Tech went on a 22-6 run led by freshman guard Sydney Wallace.
Wallace was a clear bright spot for Tech as she finished the game with 32 points off of the bench. Most of Wallace’s points came from behind the three-point line where she made eight of 12.
“I just came out with a lot of confidence, and I told myself that I could knock it down. When a chance came for an open shot, I just took it,” Wallace said.
Even though the season ended on a sour note for the Jackets, an argument could be made that this was the best team the Tech has ever had. The team reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history and broke several records including conference wins and overall wins in a season.