Baylor guard/forward Aijha Blackwell returned to the court for the first time in nearly a month as the Bears defeated Tennessee State, 93-27, on Thursday.
Her appearance came just four days after she posted to Twitter that her return would be “Soon, real soon.”
Blackwell played just 10 minutes in her first game back, but she ended up with 10 points and seven rebounds in those 10 minutes.
She played in just three games before the injury against SMU on Nov. 17 and averaged 14 points and 6.3 rebounds. Blackwell transferred from Missouri, where last season she averaged 15.4 points and 13 rebounds and averaged a double-double for the second straight season.
After her knee injury, it was unclear how long Blackwell would be out. After the SMU game, Baylor coach Nicki Collen said that Blackwell’s family wanted to keep her injury status private.
In her absence, the Bears have been able to get more playing time for their talented freshmen. Darianna Littlepage-Buggs — the reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Week — had 30 points and 11 rebounds against TSU. Bella Fontleroy, who has already claimed that award twice this season, had 12 points.
The No. 18 Bears also have holdover stars like forward Caitlin Bickle, guard Sarah Andrews, guard Jaden Owens and guard Ja’Mee Asberry.
Blackwell transfer was supposed to soften the blow of losing Big 12 Player of the Year NaLyssa Smith to the WNBA. The Bears have also been without another key transfer, former Kentucky guard/forward Dre’una Edwards, who has been out for eligibility reasons.
Now, the Bears are 8-2 as they prepare to face No. 20 Arizona on Sunday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. After that, the Bears host Long Beach State on Dec. 21 before taking a holiday break before hosting TCU to open Big 12 action on Dec. 31.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard