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Mar 24, 2024 10:40 pm

Jada Walker steps up to lead 5th-seeded Baylor past 4th-seeded Va. Tech

Nicki Collen

Jada Walker scored 11 of No. 5 seed Baylor’s final 13 points en route to a career-high 28, and the Bears knocked off host No. 4 seed Virginia Tech in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Portland 3 Region on Sunday in Blacksburg, Va.

Baylor (26-7) trailed for only 17 seconds, but the Bears’ advantage never exceeded eight points in what was a close contest throughout. Walker took over beginning with a jumper at the 5:42 mark of the fourth quarter to keep Virginia Tech at arm’s length.

Her crucial plays included converting an and-one with 19 seconds remaining that extended the Baylor lead to four points. She finished with 14 points in the fourth quarter.

The Hokies (25-8) pulled to within a point multiple times in the final two minutes, including on two Georgia Amoore 3-pointers, one with 15 seconds remaining.

Walker delivered two of her most heads-up plays of the game on the ensuing sequence, dribbling away from Virginia Tech defenders to avoid an intentional foul and chew 10 seconds off the clock.

After making her foul shots, Walker fouled Amoore to prevent her from getting a look at a game-tying 3-pointer.

Amoore shot 3-of-11 from beyond the arc en route to 18 points. Matilda Ekh’s 19 points led the way for Virginia Tech, which was playing without All-American center Elizabeth Kitley due to a torn ACL sustained before the tournament.

Clara Strack added 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Sarah Andrews added 16 points and Darianna Littlepage-Buggs scored 10 points for Baylor.

–Field Level Media

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