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Smith shines, Bears advance to Big 12 Tournament Championship

NaLyssa Smith
Posted at 1:53 PM, Mar 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-12 16:04:34-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — NaLyssa Smith is a winner, and apparently, the rest of her family are too.

At halftime of the Bears 91-76 win over Oklahoma, Smith's dad, Rodney, hit a half court shot to win $6100 in free gasoline. The shot sent the stadium into an uproar as Rodney paraded across the court to celebrate his winnings.

NaLyssa did not hit a half court shot herself, but she did make one from just about everywhere else on the floor, going 16-32 for 37 points. She scored 14 points in the third quarter alone.

The win was Baylor's first over the Sooners this season. Oklahoma became the first team to beat Baylor twice in one season since 2010 when they knocked off the Bears in Waco February 2.

"I feel like it's a time of redemption," senior Queen Egbo said before the game. "It's an opportunity to redeem the two losses where they got us at home and at their place."

It looked like the Bears were in for another tough battle during the first half. With 3:05 remaining in the second quarter, Oklahoma took a 38-37 lead.

Then Smith took over.

NaLyssa scored eight points in the final 2:09 of the first half to give Baylor a 47-40 halftime lead. She would score another 14 in the first 7:30 of the third quarter. By then, the Bears had built a 24 point lead.

With the win, Baylor advances to the Big 12 Tournament Championship for the 11th straight tournament. They will play the winner of the other semifinal between Iowa State and Texas.