Griner leads No. 2 Baylor to rout of Clemson
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was happy to build an early lead and have a chance to get her players some rest with a big game Tuesday night.
Griner scored 18 points in 21 minutes to lead No. 2 Baylor to an 82-40 rout of Clemson on Monday night in the Sunsplash Shootout. Makenzie Robertson added a career-high 13 points for the Lady Bears (11-1), who will play No. 23 Syracuse on Tuesday night.
''We thought that there was a possibility that everybody could play early and we needed that. When you play back-to back nights, which we will have to do when we take on Syracuse tomorrow, we've got our hands full,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''We were able to rest kids throughout the game, and I thought that was very important for tomorrow.''
The Lady Bears held Clemson to a season-low 27 percent from the field and held the Tigers to just 13 field goals. Baylor's size was a critical factor in Clemson's season-high 27 three-point attempts, as the Lady Tigers struggled to get the ball on the interior.
The 6-foot-8 Griner's presence was felt despite her not blocking a shot for only the second time in her career. Clemson scored just six points in the lane.
''Obviously, having Brittney Griner in the middle creates a lot of difficulty on offense because she covers so much ground,'' Clemson coach Itoro Coleman. ''I felt a lot of our turnovers were because we were pressed. We weren't patient enough to use the back door when being denied on the wing, but we didn't go back door because Griner was back there.''
With the game tied 6-6, Baylor closed the half with a 32-12 run to take control of the game. Clemson (6-6) hit just six shots in the first half, including only one from inside the 3-point line.
''We started a little slow but came out and got focused and into it,'' Robertson said. ''We always love it when everyone gets to play and share the time. It's really a team effort.''
Sthefany Thomas scored 15 points to lead Clemson (6-6), which has dropped its last four games.
''The score won't show it, but I feel like we competed. I haven't seen that effort in a couple of games from us,'' Coleman said. ''We got a lot of open looks, but couldn't knock it in. We set some really good screens and got open shots, but they didn't go. We competed and we weren't scared.''