Griner leads No. 1 Baylor past No. 17 Kansas

  • Article by: DAVE SKRETTA
  • Associated Press
  • January 13, 2013 - 3:42 PM

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Brittney Griner had 33 points and seven rebounds, and top-ranked Baylor had little trouble beating No. 17 Kansas 82-60 on Sunday for the Lady Bears' 12th consecutive win.

Griner had 22 points in the first half, when Baylor (14-1, 4-0 Big 12) seized control of the game. Odyssey Sims added 14 points and Brooklyn Pope finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Lady Bears won their 26th consecutive conference game.

Their only loss this season was against then-No. 4 Stanford.

CeCe Harper came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points for the Jayhawks (11-4, 2-2), who had been unbeaten in nine home games. Angel Goodrich added 16 points and seven assists, and Carolyn Davis finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Griner started her 128th game for Baylor, breaking Sophia Young's school record set from 2002-06. She also surpassed Oklahoma's Courtney Paris for second in Big 12 history with 2,741 points, though none of that spared her from coach Kim Mulkey's wrath in the second half. She only trails Oklahoma State great Andrea Riley now who had 2,835 points in her career.

The two of them exchanged some heated words while Baylor was heading to the bench during a timeout, thought it wasn't exactly clear what they were arguing about.

Couldn't have been the way the game was going.

The Lady Bears dominated the first 10 minutes, working the ball around the perimeter and then finding Griner in the post. The 6-foot-8 forward, with at least 5 inches on anybody guarding her, had little trouble turning around and using a soft touch to repeatedly score.

She had 14 points as the Lady Bears raced to a 29-13 lead, the team at one point hitting seven consecutive shots. They wound up shooting 55.6 percent from the field in the first half.

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson eventually called a timeout, and the Jayhawks started to do a better job of denying Griner the ball. Davis spent most of the day guarding her, but Kansas would usually collapse a second — and sometimes a third — player to defend the entry pass.

The Jayhawks responded by slowly trimming into the lead.

Harper hit a pair of 3-pointers, Davis scored a couple baskets around the rim and Goodrich hit her second 3 of the half as Kansas whittled the lead to 38-28 with 4:06 left in the half.

Sims answered with two quick baskets, and Griner added two more to end the half.

Griner picked up where she left off after the break, getting an entry pass on the block and turning around for an easy basket. Kimetria Hayden added a layup and Sims hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Baylor a 53-30 lead and force another Kansas timeout.

Later in the half, tempers flared during an inbound play under the Baylor basket.

The Lady Bears were putting a player directly in front of Griner, trying to give her extra room to catch the inbound pass. But every time they lined up, the Jayhawks tried to wedge Davis between them, creating enough separation to keep Baylor's star from putting up an easy shot.

Mulkey yelled at the officials that the Lady Bears didn't need to give up the real estate on the floor, while Henrickson insisted that Kansas had the right to line up on defense.

Davis eventually was granted the space, one of the Jayhawks' few victories in the game.

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