Kentucky tops Baylor in 4 OTs in highest-scoring women’s game ever
Jennifer O’Neill scored a career-high 43 points, including the go-ahead basket in the fourth overtime, and No. 5 Kentucky beat No. 9 Baylor 133-130 on Friday night in the highest-scoring Division I women’s game in history.
The Wildcats (9-0) beat a top 10 team for the second time in five days in front of a crowd heavy with Kentucky blue at the 80,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys and site of the men’s Final Four this season.
The men’s teams, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 20 Baylor, met in the second game of the doubleheader, with Baylor winning 67-62.
The Bears (7-1) played the last three overtimes without star guard Odyssey Sims, who had a career-high 47 points when she fouled out with 1:23 left in the first overtime.
The previous high for a Division I women’s game was 252 points in SMU’s 127-125 win over TCU, also in four overtimes, on Jan. 25, 1997.
Sims was the first of seven Baylor players to foul out. Among the others was Nina Davis, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The teams combined for 80 fouls, 47 by the Lady Bears. The Wildcats were 49 of 66 on free throws, and Baylor was 33 of 46 from the line in just its third loss since the 2011 NCAA tournament. The Lady Bears have 81 wins in that span.
O’Neill’s layup with 1:42 left in the fourth overtime finally put Kentucky ahead for good. She missed the second of two free throws with a two-point lead with 6 seconds left but teammate Bria Goss grabbed the rebound.
After Goss gave Baylor one more chance by missing the second of her two free throws, a desperation 3-pointer by Baylor’s Alexis Prince, who was playing for the first time this season, rimmed out at the buzzer. The crowd gave both teams a standing ovation.
The Wildcats were coming off a 69-64 victory over No. 7 Louisville, which ousted Brittney Griner and then-No. 1 Baylor in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament last season.
Baylor won the only other meeting between the teams, 85-51 last season in Waco, 100 miles south of the Cowboys’ home field.
Mackenzie Robertson, the daughter of Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, matched her career high with 23 points.
Janee Thompson scored 20 points for Kentucky, and DeNesha Stallworth had 16 points and nine rebounds.
O’Neill missed a free throw to open the door for Imani Wright’s tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first overtime.
Sune Agbuke did the same late in second OT for Baylor moments after blocking a layup attempt by O’Neill. Down two, Kentucky sent the game to a third overtime on a layup by Kastine Evans with 3 seconds left.
Thompson tied the third overtime with two free throws with 22 seconds left after the Wildcats missed three layups while down two points in the final minute. Robertson missed badly on a driving shot at the buzzer.