Fantasy Basketball

NCAAW: Andrews, Littlepage-Buggs make key plays that lead Baylor Bears

Sarah Andrews had 21 points and four assists, including a key 6-0 individual run in the fourth quarter, and teammate Darianna Littlepage-Buggs (13 points, 12 rebounds) put in the little bit of extra effort the Baylor Bears (receiving votes, one point) needed to pull out a 76-70 win over the No. 12 Iowa State Cyclones Saturday night at James H. Hilton Coliseum in Ames.

The fourth was tight until Andrews followed her own trey with a floater from the right baseline-turned 3-point play for a 6-0 individual run that gave Baylor the largest lead of the frame to that point at 62-57.

Littlepage-Buggs made it a six-point lead with a layup at 5:35 remaining and poked the ball away from Iowa State on the ensuing possession, leading to a jump ball. The Cyclones received possession on that one, but the next jump ball, which involved Littlepage-Buggs and Nyamer Diew, came at a crucial moment when the Cyclones had the ball down just two with 2:02 to go. So Littlepage-Buggs’ defense earlier proved critical, as did her block of an Ashley Joens jumper at 2:16.

Ja’Mee Asberry followed the key jump ball call with four straight points that built a 70-64 lead and the Bears led by at least five over the remaining 1:13.

In winning, Baylor overcame phenomenal performances by Diew (25 points, five rebounds) and Joens (23 points, six rebounds, three steals). Diew (10-of-13 from the field, 3-of-4 from deep) was coming off her first-career double-double; her 25 points were 11 over her previous season high.

Jaden Owens notched nine points, eight assists and two steals for the winners, while Asberry and Caitlin Bickle each added 14 points and five boards. Andrews swiped three steals.

In the third, Baylor led by six before the Cyclones cut it to one. The Bears created breathing room again, leading by seven, only to see Iowa State go on an 8-0 run to lead by one entering the fourth. Diew scored all five of the points that ruined the six-point lead and the first five of the 8-0 run. Morgan Kane backed down for the layup that tied it at 48 and a Joens free throw made it 49-48, wrapping up the third.

The Bears came back from down five in the second quarter to lead 33-31 at the break. It was Andrews and Bickle scoring inside to fuel the run.

Iowa State trailed early, but went on a 14-3 run to lead 23-20 at the 9:10 mark of the second. Joens made a catch-and-shoot three to cut it to 17-12 and Diew followed with a three of her own, cutting it to 17-15. A Joens layup then tied it at 19 before her reverse layup gave the Cyclones a 21-20 lead entering the second. Diew made it 23-20 on a nice drive and layup 50 seconds into the second.

Owens scored three straight Baylor baskets and assisted the following two between 7:05 and 4:31 in the first, after which the Bears led 14-9. Andrews added a deep fadeaway three to make it 17-9.

The Cyclones were hurt by their 5-of-24 effort from beyond the arc (20.8 percent). Diew aside, they were 2-of-20. Baylor attempted eight more free throws, making five more. Littlepage-Buggs accounted for all of the Bears’ bench points, outscoring Iowa State’s bench 13-4. Kane scored all four points. Emily Ryan dished out 12 assists in defeat.

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