Written by Adrian Beecher

Irish strike first, while Baylor strikes back harder on their way to a dominating first half that saw the Bears lead grow to as many as 17 points. At the half, the Bears held a 43-31 lead over the defending champion Fighting Irish.

Here’s how it all went down in Amalie Arena in the First half Sunday night.

Baylor won the tip, but would turnover the ball on their first possession. Despite that, it was the Lady Bears getting the first basket of the night on a layup from Chloe Jackson.

The Irish first basket of the game came 1:40 into the 1st quarter as Marina Mabrey drained a triple to put ND on top 3-2. The excitement was very short lived though.

Baylor took just 17 seconds to regain the lead as Lauren Cox got in early on the action with a layup. over the next 2 minutes and 22 seconds Baylor put on a clinic of a 10-0 run. The Irish’s next basket from the field wouldnt come until there was just 4:14 left in the 1st quarter.

However, after a pullup jumper from Jackson to extend the Baylor lead back to 10, the Irish did what work they could to rim the lead. Five straight points from Arike Ogunbowale helped the Irish back within striking distance with the score at 17-12 Baylor.

Then the Bear’s turned it back on, shutting down the Irish the rest of the quarter, other than a Jackie Young jumper, as they trickled their lead up to 11 as the quarter came to a close.

The second quarter started with a Brianna Turner turnover, however, she corralled the ensuing defensive rebound. This led to Ogunbowale hitting a jumper to cut the deficit to 9, with the score at 25-16 at the 9:08 mark of the 2nd quarter.

Then Kalani Brown got hot, with six straight points all on layups. Then a jumper from Jackson put Baylor on top by 17 with 6:38 left in the half. Notre Dame took the punch with stride and attacked back with a left hook of their own to the tune of a 9-0 run, trimming it to 33-25 deficit with 4:07 to play. The run was highlighted by five straight points on the back end from Ogunbowale.

Baylor again pushed their lead into double digits taking a 14 point lead as Nalyssa Smith made a layup with 2:09 left on the clock. The Irish would cut the deficit to 10 twice before the teams went to the locker room with Baylor leading 43-31.

Leading the way for the Bears was jackson with 14 points, Brown added 12 as the other bear in double figures. However, the Irish were leaning heaving on the offensive production of Ogunbowale with 14 points. Turner led the Irish with eight boards, while Cox from Baylor led her squad with eight as well.

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