SAN ANTONIO, Texas — In a game billed as something more akin to a national championship than an Elite Eight, the Baylor Bears came one possession short, falling to UConn 69-67.
With the win, UConn advances to its 13th consecutive Final Four. They last missed the Final Four in 2007.
UConn jumped out to an early 16-4 lead in the first 4:36 of the game. Moon Ursin was the lone bright spot during that stretch, scoring one of Baylor's early buckets and assisting on the other.
Soon after, the Lady Bears chipped away at that lead, going on a 10-0 run to bring the game within arms reach.
Both teams played up-tempo offense during the first quarter, combining to score an NCAA Tournament regional record 50 points in the quarter.
UConn led 26-24.
In the second quarter, Dijonai Carrington stepped up for the Lady Bears, going 3-5 and scoring nine of Baylor's 15 points.
Defensively, Baylor shut down the Huskies, holding them to 33 percent shooting. UConn turned the ball over four times during the second quarter.
By halftime, Baylor had taken a slim 39-37 lead.
In the third quarter NaLyssa Smith finally began to establish herself in the post, scoring back-to-back buckets to cap an 8-0 Baylor run with 2:51 remaining in the quarter.
Soon after, Didi Richards left the floor with a leg injury.
UConn immediately answered with its own 8-0 run to close the quarter down two.
They would extend that run to 19-0 to start the fourth quarter, taking a commanding 64-55 lead.
The Lady Bears would eat into that lead, bringing the game within one with 17.2 seconds remaining.
Christyn Williams would then miss two free throws, giving Baylor possession down one.
On their final possession, Carrington missed a layup with less than five seconds remaining, and the Lady Bears came up just shy.