Scores

Final

(1) Florida 57

(20-13, 8-8 SEC)

(8) Baylor 76

(36-0, 18-0 Big 12)

    Coverage: ESPN2/ESPNU

    7:05 PM ET, March 20, 2012

    1 2 T
    #1FLA 26 3157
    #8BAY 35 4176

    Top Performers

    Florida: A. Stewart 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Baylor: B. Griner 25 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 6 Blk

    Brittney Griner dunks over Gators as Baylor moves on

    Associated Press

    BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Florida Gators were prepared for Brittney Griner's dunk -- and they reacted reasonably well to it.

    But by that point, they were too far behind to mount much of a push against Griner's powerful Baylor team.

    "We talked about it in the locker room. We know she's capable of doing that. She's does it in warmups," Florida's Azania Stewart said. "We said that if they make a big 3 or she dunks, we have to get the ball in and out quickly. It didn't affect us, I don't think. It's a great play -- most women can't do that."

    Griner became the second woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game Tuesday night, slamming one down with her right hand early in the second half of top-seeded Baylor's 76-57 win over ninth-seeded Florida.

    The 6-foot-8 junior phenom went nearly 12 minutes without scoring at the beginning of the game, but finished with 25 points, including the night's biggest highlight.

    Odyssey Sims added 14 points for Baylor (36-0). Stewart led Florida (20-13) with 14.

    Candace Parker of Tennessee dunked twice in an NCAA tournament game in 2006 against Army. Griner's dunk was her first of the season and sixth of her career. Parker holds the career record with seven.

    "I think my team got fired up a little bit more than me. I got a little bit more fired up, I think, on one of the blocks I had," Griner said. "But it definitely felt good throwing it down."

    Baylor led 35-26 at halftime, but Griner was only beginning to assert herself. She scored eight points in the first half, including six in the final 3:56.

    Griner began the second half with a turnaround and a layup. Then Kimetria Hayden came up with an offensive rebound near the basket and passed to an open Griner. She stepped toward the basket, stretched out her right arm and dunked for the first time since Feb. 19, 2011, at Texas Tech.

    The Lady Bears led 41-28, and although Florida didn't crumble, the Gators were never really able to make a game of it down the stretch.

    "I think their coaching staff does a great job of just keeping it real simple -- 'Here's our best player that no one in the country can guard, let's make sure we give her the ball,' " Florida coach Amanda Butler said. "You have to credit them for certainly in those moments, not overcoaching."

    Baylor hasn't lost since falling in the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA tournament. The Lady Bears will face fourth-seeded Georgia Tech in the round of 16 on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Griner began this tournament quietly, playing only 22 minutes in Baylor's first-round rout of UC Santa Barbara. She delighted the crowd Tuesday with her dunking display in warmups, at one point throwing down a two-handed effort and pulling herself up toward the rim.

    When the game started, Griner was called for an early charging foul when she tried to dribble coast to coast following a defensive rebound. She didn't attempt a shot until about midway through the half and didn't score until a layup with 8:18 remaining.

    The Gators used a zone defense to deny Griner the ball inside, and although Baylor led 26-11 at one point, Florida answered with a 9-0 run.

    Griner then scored six quick points for the Lady Bears -- two free throws, a putback and a shot from out near the free throw line. The Gators kept answering for the rest of the half, but that stretch was a sign of things to come for Griner.

    Griner went 8 of 14 from the field with nine rebounds and six blocks.

    Florida beat Ohio State in the first round, defiantly holding off the Buckeyes in front of a partisan crowd in northwest Ohio. The Gators didn't back down from Baylor either. At one point in the second half, Deana Allen lost her left shoe while going to the basket. She hustled back and played an entire defensive possession without it.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    FLA
    BAY
    Points 57 76
    FG Made-Attempted 23-70 (.329) 24-55 (.436)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-19 (.211) 4-10 (.400)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-12 (.583) 24-33 (.727)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 12 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 23

    Game Leaders

     
    FLA
    BAY
    PointsA. Stewart 14B. Griner 25
    ReboundsL. Bartley 7D. Williams 13
    AssistsL. Bartley 3B. Griner 4
    StealsL. Bartley 3O. Sims 3
    BlocksJ. George 3B. Griner 6

    Series

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Mar 20, 2012 @BAY 76, FLA 57Recap | Box Score

    Research Notes

    Baylor's starters were the clear difference Tuesday vs Florida. The Lady Bears' starting five scored 74 of the team's 76 points and outrebounded the bench by 31.
      [+]
    Though Florida's bench outscored Baylor's 23-2, the Lady Bears starters dominated their Florida counterparts. Baylor's starters outscored Florida's by 40 points and shot 16 percent better from the field.
      [+]

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