KANSAS CITY, Mo. — NaLyssa Smith had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Queen Egbo added 10 points and 18 rebounds, and No. 6 Baylor held off Texas 66-55 in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals on Saturday.
After trailing by 14 in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns (18-9) got within five but couldn’t get any closer after Smith drilled a 3-pointer in the closing minute.
Moon Ursin scored 19 and Dijonai Harrington had 14 as Baylor (24-2) will play in its ninth straight Big 12 Tournament final on Sunday against either Oklahoma State or West Virginia.
Joanne Allen-Taylor led the Longhorns with 22 points and Celeste Taylor had 18.
The Lady Bears were too much in the paint for Texas, outrebounding the Longhorns 51-29, 22 on the offensive glass. Baylor also scored 36 in the paint and had 28 second-chance points.
Texas center Charli Collier, a projected top pick in this year’s WNBA draft, played just two minutes in the first quarter after being called for two early fouls. She averaged over 20 points per game this season but averaged fewer than six in three games against Baylor.
The Lady Bears held a 37-30 lead at the half despite Collier playing just a couple of minutes.
Texas: Losing Collier in the first half seemed like a big deal, but the Longhorns stayed close. The lack of a post presence cost the Longhorns.
Baylor: After missing 15 3-pointers on Friday, the Lady Bears shot just four. Coach Kim Mulkey said they don’t need to shoot a bunch of 3s to win games.
Texas awaits its NCAA Tournament seeding.
Baylor plays either Oklahoma State or West Virginia in the championship game on Sunday.