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Paradise Jam: Baylor and South Carolina face their biggest tests yet

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No matter which team wins the Paradise Jam tournament, either the Baylor Lady Bears or the South Carolina Gamecocks will pick up their first loss of the season. Here’s the tournament schedule and how to watch!

NCAA BASKETBALL: APR 07 Women’s Div I National Championship - Notre Dame v Baylor
With Lauren Cox battling injuries this season and no Kalani Brown (graduation, WNBA), do the Lady Bears still have bite?
Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Women’s Paradise Jam will kick off Thursday at 2 p.m. when UT Arlington takes on No. 8 Louisville. The tournament will continue Friday and the two most important games — Oregon Ducks vs. Louisville Cardinals and Baylor Bears vs. South Carolina Gamecocks — will be played Saturday.

The No. 1 Ducks’ Satou Sabally returned from overseas for the team’s fourth game of the season Sunday and paved the way to victory over No. 18 Syracuse with a team-high 23 points. Sabally also had 25 points in Oregon’s exhibition win over Team USA on Nov. 9, while forward Ruthy Hebard has played in all four regular season games and is averaging 20.5 points and 13.4 rebounds.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Baylor has been able to win without their best player, Lauren Cox, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury. The Bears will have their hands full, though, with No. 5 South Carolina’s talented roster and freshman Aliyah Boston in particular, because she’s the player Cox would have been guarding. And to make this game even more interesting, Te’a Cooper will be suiting up for Baylor while facing her former team in South Carolina.


Paradise Jam Schedule

Day 1 — Thursday, Nov. 28

UT Arlington Mavericks vs. No. 8 Louisville Cardinals

When: 1 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/TuneIn.com

Key to the matchup: The undefeated Mavericks have an average margin of victory of 22 points and are holding opponents to 27.2 percent shooting from the field. Louisville may need to search for easy buckets inside because UT Arlington defends the perimeter very well.

Oklahoma State Cowgirls vs. No. 1 Oregon Ducks

When: 3:15 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Oregon Sports Network

Key to the matchup: Oregon owns the fourth-best points per game average in the nation at 94.5, while Oklahoma State is ninth in the nation in defense, allowing just 47.6 points per contest. So the key for the Cowgirls will be getting their offense (70.6 points per game) going, because defending Oregon will be very difficult.

Washington State Cougars vs. No. 2 Baylor Bears

When: 5:45 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Baylor All-Access

Key to the matchup: For some reason Baylor has struggled at the free throw line this year, making just 68 percent of its shots from the stripe. Meanwhile the Cougars are shooting 80 percent on free throws, so being aggressive and driving to the basket may benefit them.

No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers vs. No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks

When: 8 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Gamecock All-Access

Key to the matchup: Indiana needs to get hot from downtown because Boston will make it difficult to score against the Gamecocks inside. The Hoosiers have good 3-point shooters but aren’t looking that efficient early on, shooting just 29.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Day 2 — Friday, Nov. 29

No. 8 Louisville Cardinals vs. Oklahoma State Cowgirls

When: 1 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/OKState.com

Key to the matchup: The Cowgirls are good at forcing turnovers (22.4 per game). They’ll need to play great defense and then some if they want to beat Louisville.

No. 1 Oregon Ducks vs. UT Arlington Mavericks

When: 3:15 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Oregon Sports Network

Key to the matchup: Both teams have good perimeter defense and the Mavericks have other strengths as well. But Oregon can score in so many different ways and that should cancel out the strong perimeter defense coming from UT Arlington.

No. 2 Baylor Bears vs. No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers

When: 5:45 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Baylor All-Access

Key to the matchup: This year’s Indiana team is looking really good and they will test Baylor more than people probably realize. Hoosier sophomore Grace Berger has caught fire and is leading the way, while the Bears are more vulnerable without Cox.

No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Washington State Cougars

When: 8 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Gamecock All-Access

Key to the matchup: Along with the free throw thing, Washington State has some pretty solid offensive numbers all-around. South Carolina will look to make this one a low-scoring affair.

Day 3 — Saturday, Nov. 30

Oklahoma State Cowgirls vs. UT Arlington Mavericks

When: 1 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)

Key to the matchup: These teams have almost identical margin of victory averages, which are both just north of 20. The difference could be UT Arlington’s solid defense guarding against 3-point shots.

No. 8 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 1 Oregon Ducks

When: 3:15 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Oregon Sports Network

Key to the matchup: Whether or not Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu can remain unselfish. She has so many great teammates who are peaking right now so it would make sense for her to not worry about being the team’s leading scorer anymore.

Washington State Cougars vs. No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers

When: 5:45 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)

Key to the matchup: Neither team has been tested yet and both are 4-0. Berger and the Indiana freshmen need to be the x-factors again for the Hoosiers.

No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. No. 2 Baylor Bears

When: 8 p.m. ET

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Baylor All-Access

Key to the matchup: Erin DeGrate’s one-inch height advantage over Aliyah Boston, who is 6-foot-5. DeGrate, Queen Egbo (6-foot-3) and NaLyssa Smith (6-foot-2) all need to play well in Cox’s absence if the Bears are to remain the No. 2 team in the nation.