No. 1 Baylor 80, West Virginia 49
Her fifth career triple-double did little to coax some
excitement out of Brittney Griner. Not when there’s still a month
left in top-ranked Baylor’s pursuit of a second straight national
The largest crowd ever for a women’s game at West Virginia saw
Griner finish with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, and
the Lady Bears built a big early lead in defeating the Mountaineers
80-49 on Saturday night.
Individual accomplishments mean little to the most dominant
player in women’s college basketball.
”Nah, I’ll do that after I’m done with my college career,”
It was Griner’s first triple-double since November 2010. It tied
her with Kansas State’s Shalee Lehning (2006-09) for the most in
”She brings it like that every day, guys,” Baylor coach Kim
Mulkey said. ”That’s what makes her special. When I go to
practice, I just know if I see Brittney, it makes our practice
because she’s just that kind of kid. She’s not a prima donna, she
In the earlier meeting this season in Waco, Texas, Griner
finished one blocked shot shy of a triple-double.
She got it this time with more than 5 minutes left in the
”My teammates found me, and got me the ball,” Griner said.
”And then I was just aggressive getting rebounds and getting
On Monday night, Baylor will try to become the first Big 12
school to finish undefeated in women’s conference play twice,
having done it last season. The Lady Bears will take a 26-game
winning streak into their regular-season finale at home against
Kansas State. The Big 12 tournament is next weekend.
Shortly before tipoff, just as he does every home game, West
Virginia’s buckskin-wearing mascot fired his musket at midcourt,
startling everyone on Baylor’s bench.
During the game, it was West Virginia that looked frazzled.
Baylor (28-1, 17-0 Big 12) never trailed. The Lady Bears scored
the first 14 points of the game and built a 38-22 halftime
”I thought we played scared in the beginning,” said West
Virginia coach Mike Carey.
Despite falling behind by as many as 20 points in the first
half, West Virginia trimmed the deficit to single digits. A 10-2
run, capped by Christal Caldwell’s basket, brought the Mountaineers
within 42-34 with 17:27 left in the game. That’s as close as West
Just as quickly, Baylor pulled away. Griner’s jumper started a
15-3 run that put the Lady Bears ahead 57-37 with 12:27
Griner’s rebound with 5:22 left gave her the triple double, and
her ensuing basket gave Baylor a 70-44 lead.
West Virginia had hoped to get Griner into foul trouble, but she
didn’t pick up her third foul until there was 5:38 left in the game
and she went to the bench for good a short time later.
West Virginia tied its lowest point total of the season. The
Mountaineers attempted 21 more field goals than Baylor but shot
just 22.5 percent from the floor.
”I thought tonight, from the tip, we guarded West Virginia,”
Mulkey said. ”We talk a lot about what we do on the offensive end
of the floor, I don’t think people talk enough about what we do on
the defensive end of the floor.”
West Virginia had hoped somehow to keep pace with the nation’s
second-best scoring offense by moving center Ayana Dunning, who is
5 inches shorter than Griner, to the outside. But Dunning, in her
final home game, made 2 of 7 3-point tries and finished with nine
Christal Caldwell scored 14 points to lead West Virginia (17-11,
9-8), which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.
Odyssey Sims added 10 points for Baylor.
Griner got off to a slow start by her standards, but Baylor
While West Virginia missed its first seven shots, Baylor took
control from the opening tip and raced to a 38-22 halftime
Griner did score the game’s first basket, then didn’t score
again until the 12:38 mark. She had 16 points, four rebounds and
four blocks by halftime, then turned up the tempo on defense in the
A record crowd of 13,447 watched the Mountaineers fall to 0-5
all-time against top-ranked teams at home. It broke the previous
mark of 8,307 set against DePaul in 2008. West Virginia entered the
game with the lowest average home attendance in the Big 12 at
”That crowd needs to be out here for every game, not just when
Baylor comes to town, because that’s good,” Mulkey said. ”That’s
healthy for West Virginia, that’s healthy for the Big 12, that’s
healthy for our sport. And we love that. ”