Women's basketball: Baylor advances to final

This is the other side of Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu

This is the other side of Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu

OR reached the women's Final Four for the first time and after taking Baylor to the final minute the Ducks vow to return to the sport's biggest stage.

Ionsecu continued to lead the team to a narrow victory against No. 1 Mississippi State in the Elite Eight only to fall to top-seeded Baylor in the semifinals.

OR got hot from distance and saw a big game from Wade Trophy victor Sabrina Ionescu, but Baylor's size and rebounding prowess proved too much to overcome in a 72-67 Bears win.

Well, as so often is the case, such fretting was for naught. She scored 12 in the second quarter and gave OR a 34-33 halftime lead after making a long 3 while being bumped to the ground by Baylor's DiDi Richards.

"But I don't think that's where the game was lost".

"You play, you change, you adapt to whatever your personnel is capable of doing", Mulkey said. But that's what they were giving us (Friday).

OR forward Satou Sabally looks to pass as Baylor center Kalani Brown defends during the second half of Friday's Final Four game on the NCAA Tournament in Tampa, Fla.

The Bears enter as a heavy favorite, under Coach of the Year Kim Mulkey and with two national titles under her/their belt. Their nation-leading winning streak sits at 28, with their lone loss having come in December at Stanford.

Visit portlandtribune.com on Friday night for complete coverage of the Ducks vs. Bears NCAA Final Four women's basketball game TAMPA, Florida - The stage is set for the Oregon Ducks' first appearance in a women's NCAA Final Four. "I'm watching the game really just to cheer on my teammates and to find things for them seeing what can I say the next time in the next timeout to someone to get them back just kind of like being a cheerleader for my teammates". We saw bits and pieces of it here and there. "Credit to a really good defensive team".

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Top WNBA Draft prospect Sabrina Ionescu announced her return to OR next season with a letter in The Players' Tribune on Saturday.

With or without Ionescu in tow for the 2019-20 campaign, the Ducks will eagerly await Nyara Sabally's collegiate debut to add depth and a new dynamic to the frontcourt that already includes Boley, Hebard and Satou Sabally.

It's no mystery to OR, OR to the rest of the sports world, that they are the odd one out as far as blue-blood pedigrees go.

Locked in a close game for the first time in weeks, Baylor never flinched. "I'm still in shock". But the junior guard did not score in the fourth quarter (she was 0-for-7 from the field), as the Ducks shot just 26.3 percent in the final 10 minutes.

OR shot 36.8% from the field.

Oregon's Ionescu shot 50 percent from from three point land as Baylor even took over the lead. The Bears grabbed a 56-55 lead heading into the fourth quarter on the strength of a putback from Cox. With the announcement, the team returns 4 out of 5 starters from last season's side. Baylor, on the other hand, hauled with it the pressure of being the No. 1 overall seed.

OR would foul to try and catch up, but the Lady Bears would convert free throws to put it out of reach. Kobe Bryant came to a Ducks game and talked to the team afterward in the locker room.

OR finished the rally, and gained a 34-33 edge at intermission, thanks to Ionescu.

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