8:00 PM ET, January 15, 2011
WACO, Texas -- Forget the dunks. Brittney Griner prefers swatting the ball away from opposing players.So when Baylor's 6-foot-8 sophomore standout saw the opportunity in front of her against Oklahoma State, Griner made a highlight play in the No. 1 Bears' 70-39 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night.The Lady Bears were already in control of the game just before halftime when the Cowgirls grabbed a rebound and broke the other way. It looked like 5-foot-5 Laykn Garrison was about to have an easy layup -- except she never saw Griner coming from behind. Griner knocked the ball into the courtside seats for one of her three blocks, and Garrison went to the ground."That's my favorite play. I love LeBron, I see him do it a lot," Griner said. "When I saw her going, I was like 'Oh yeah!' ... I just kept running. When I saw her go up, I just jumped."Griner also had 18 points with nine rebounds and the Lady Bears (16-1, 3-0 Big 12) extended their winning streak to 13 in a row."We brought in a 6-10 guy this week to work against us and he blocked every shot in the gym. I don't know if that was a good idea or not. But at least we got used to it," Cowgirls coach Kurt Budke said. "She's the most dominant player in the world. I think she's changing basketball. ... She's not maxed out yet. She's going to continue to get better, which is scary for all of us."Odyssey Sims had 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting with three 3-pointers for Baylor, whose overall winning streak matches the 13 in a row they have also won at home. Melissa Jones added 10 points and eight rebounds.Griner was recognized before the game for reaching 1,000 career points in the Lady Bears' previous game, a win Wednesday at Texas that was just the 51st career game for the preseason AP All-American. She also became No. 2 in Big 12 career blocks in that game.Through 52 games, Griner has 1,018 career points. Her 306 blocked shots trail only former Oklahoma standout Courtney Paris' 446 on the Big 12 career list."Odyssey and I are glad we're both on her team," coach Kim Mulkey said.After taking an inside pass from Jones in the second half, Griner thought about going up for a dunk -- which would have been her first this season after four last season. She opted against a slam, then missed a short shot.It was another lopsided conference loss for the Cowgirls (12-4, 0-3), who lost 82-57 against Texas A&M (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) earlier this week after losing their Big 12 opener by 18 to Kansas State. Their only other loss was by 28 points against third-ranked Duke last month.Baylor, whose only loss was by one point at then top-ranked Connecticut in November, entered leading the nation with a scoring margin of 34.5 points while holding opponents to less than 31-percent shooting. Toni Young had 12 points and was the only player in double figures for the Cowgirls, who shot only 25 percent (16 of 64)."Obviously, they've got a great team. No. 1 team in the country. No. 1 player in the country," Budke said. "We've got a young group that's got a lot to learn. ... We've got some hard lessons that we're learning right now."The Lady Bears never trailed, taking the lead for good when Jones hit a 3-pointer from the left side on the opening possession of the game. After Lindsey Keller followed a 15-footer with a 3-pointer to make it 12-8, Oklahoma State never got closer.Jones had a steal, and chest-bumped a teammate after missing the layup in traffic. Though she missed both free throws, she made up for it quickly with her other 3-pointer of the game -- when she passed the ball to Sims, who quickly returned it to set Jones up on the right side for a 15-8 lead.Sims then stretched the lead to 10 when she took a pass from Griner and hit a 3-pointer from the left wing.Baylor pushed the lead to 33-13 with 3:13 left in the first half when Kimetria Hayden hit a pair of free throws. Right after that, Jones stole the ball from Young in front of the Oklahoma State bench and passed to Destiny Williams for a driving layup. She also added the free throw after being fouled for the largest lead before halftime.The Cowgirls' only other game against a No. 1 team was a 74-59 loss against Louisiana Tech in 1989 when Mulkey was still an assistant coach for her alma mater.Mulkey is in her 11th season as coach for the Lady Bears, who are 156-19 at home during that span with wins in 100 of their last 109 games.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||16-64 (.250)||20-49 (.408)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-26 (.115)||6-17 (.353)|
|FT Made-Attempted||4-12 (.333)||24-34 (.706)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||26 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|