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Top-seeded Baylor routs Iowa 85-53 to cruise to Final Four

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey, left, waves the net as she celebrates with her daughter Makenzie Fuller, center, and grandson Kannon Fuller, right, after Baylor defeated Iowa in a regional final women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Monday. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey, left, waves the net as she celebrates with her daughter Makenzie Fuller, center, and grandson Kannon Fuller, right, after Baylor defeated Iowa in a regional final women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Monday. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)
By Joedy Mccreary Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Lauren Cox had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Baylor earned its first Final Four berth since 2012 by beating Iowa 85-53 on Monday night in the Greensboro Regional final.

Didi Richards added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Chloe Jackson had 14 points and the Bears (35-1) – the top overall seed – won their 27th straight game by shooting 53 percent, clamping down on All-American Megan Gustafson and her supporting cast and holding the nation’s best shooting team to a season-worst 32 percent.

Now it’s on to Tampa, Florida, for the school’s fourth Final Four and its first in seven years – when the Bears won their second national championship.

The 6-foot-4 Cox – a third-team AP All-America pick – and fellow twin tower Kalani Brown, a 6-7 second-team All-American, teamed up to dominate both the glass and the heavily-hyped matchup with Gustafson, the nation’s leading scorer at 27.9 points per game.

Brown finished with 14 points, and Baylor held a 47-26 rebounding advantage with 20 second-chance points to six for Iowa.

Gustafson finished with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting, but was held without a rebound in the second half for second-seeded Iowa (29-7). Kathleen Doyle and Tania Davis each had 10 points.

The Bears – who entered allowing their opponents to shoot a Division I-worst 31.4 percent – held Iowa way below its previous worst of 41.1 at Purdue on Jan. 10.

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