GREENSBORO, NC — Baylor had four starters score in double figures as they downed Iowa 85 - 53 and advanced to their first Final Four since 2012.
The first quarter was lightning paced with both Iowa and Baylor going inside early. Lady Bear center Kalani Brown missed her first three shots, but converted the fourth for a three point play opportunity.
Megan Gustafson for Iowa was everything as advertised. Despite giving up three inches of height to Brown, the ESPN player of the year had nine points in the first frame.
The second quarter saw Baylor coach Kim Mulkey switch forward Lauren Cox on to Gustafson and keep her scoreless for a majority of the period. Offensively, Baylor went to Cox as the Hawkeyes continued to double team Brown.
The Junior from Flower Mound responded by earning her next four points and assisting on another basket from Didi Richards. NaLyssa Smith notched Baylor's last basket as the Lady Bears ended the half on an 8-2 run taking a 41-27 lead into the half.
Out of the break, it was more Lauren Cox. The forward landed big blocks on Gustafson in the middle of the third and followed it up with another couple baskets for herself.
Then, Chloe Jackson started to push the pace again, driving the transition offense and converting another pair of jump shots for herself. Jackson and Cox would continue their tandem scoring for Baylor through the third period -- at some points pushing the lead to more than 20 point.
Iowa struggled in the second half. At one point, Baylor held them without a field goal for over five minutes before giving up four points to close out the third quarter leading 65-42.
The fourth quarter started with Iowa going on a run, but Baylor was just too overwhelming. The Lady Bears had four of five starters score in double figures as they went on to down Iowa and advance to the Final Four.
Baylor now goes to Tampa to play Oregon April 5.