Baylor tops Arizona State, 70-66

By DOUG FEINBERG,

AP Basketball Writer


LAS VEGAS (AP) Brittney Griner had 27 points, 10 rebounds, and eight blocks to help No. 6 Baylor hold off No. 14 Arizona State 70-66 on Sunday night in the Las Vegas Hoops Classic.


It was the second straight game that Griner fell just two blocks short of a triple-double. She had the first in school history Wednesday in Baylor’s win over Oral Roberts.


Griner took over in the second half, scoring 18 of her points and blocking six shots. Her three-point play with 4:47 left gave Baylor (11-1) a five-point lead. The Sun Devils could get no closer than four the rest of the way.


Kelli Griffin added 15 points for the Bears, who have 11 straight games since a season-opening loss to Tennessee.


Becca Tobin scored 16 points and Danielle Orsillo added 14 for Arizona State (7-3).


With the game tied at 60 with 5:43 left, Medlock hit a layup and Griner had the three-point play. Arizona State, which had made 13 of its first 14 free throws, had chances to close the gap, but the Sun Devils started to miss from the line, failing to convert on six of their next eight.


Griffin’s layup extended the advantage to 67-61 with 3:10 left. Tobin hit two free throws to make it a four-point game. On the Sun Devils next two possessions they had a shot clock violation and Orsillo missed a deep 3-pointer with 1:01 left.


Griner’s layup with 44.7 left sealed the game.


It was a game of runs as Baylor jumped out to an early 32-20 with 3:01 left in the first half, Arizona State went on a 20-5 spurt spanning the break to take a 40-37 advantage on Fulcher’s jumper. Griner and Baylor responded scoring the next nine points. Griner had four of them, including a nifty layup after blocking a shot on the other end to give the Bears a 46-40 advantage.


Arizona State then had the next spurt scoring seven straight to take a 47-46 lead with 11:45 left. The teams traded baskets and leads over the next 6 minutes as Griner scored nine points on an array of post moves. Neither team could build more than a two-point lead before Tenaya Watson’s jumper tied the game at 60.


Arizona State lost its opening game in the tournament Saturday night, falling to No. 13 Texas A&M 72-62. Baylor routed Gonzaga 70-49.


Updated December 20, 2009