Ursin, Smith lead No. 5 Baylor to big win in NCAA opener

Baylor players celebrate on the bench during the second half of a college basketball game against Jackson State in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Alamodome, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in San Antonio. Baylor won 101-52. (Eric Gay, AP Photo)

SAN ANTONIO – Moon Ursin scored a career-high 24 points, All-American NaLyssa Smith had a double-double and fifth-ranked Baylor had no problem in its women’s NCAA Tournament opener, cruising to a 101-52 win over Jackson State on Sunday.

Smith scored 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the second-seeded Bears (26-2), who face seventh-seeded Virginia Tech on Tuesday in the River Walk Region. Jordyn Oliver added 14 points and seven rebounds, and Dijonai Carrington and Queen Egbo each scored 10 points for the three-time national champions, including 2019 when the tournament was last played.

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Keshuna Luckett led the 15th-seeded Tigers (19-6), the five-time Southwest Athletic Conference representatives, with 15 points. Ameshya Williams had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Dayzsha Rogan scored 10.

Baylor, the national leader in field-goal defense (31.8%) and rebounding margin (plus-19), limited Jackson State to 30.9% shooting, including 2 of 19 from 3-point range, and had a 59-35 rebounding advantage.

Ursin and Smith combined to shoot 11 of 13 in the first half to outscore the Tigers. Ursin, who was 3 of 3 behind the arc, had 16 points and Smith was 5 of 6 for 12 points, and the Bears led 51-24.

The lead hit double figures for good midway through the first quarter and it was 27 at the half. The Bears shot 54.5% and held Jackson State to 27.8% for a 51-24 lead.

The lead reached 52 at 99-47. The Bears were 1 of 11 over the last four minutes in an attempt to reach the century mark, which they did when Jaden Owens was fouled with 0.4 seconds left and she made two free throws.


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