No. 1 Baylor 96, Texas 68

The only shot Brittney Griner missed before halftime was a dunk

when the ball didn’t quite get over the rim. Baylor’s 6-foot-8

sophomore sensation still scored on the play, grabbing the miss for

a putback.

That was part of an incredible start for Griner, who outscored

Texas on her own in the first half while helping the top-ranked

Baylor Lady Bears to a big lead on way to their 20th straight

victory, 96-68 Saturday.

Even without playing the final 10 minutes of the game, Griner

finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds for her 23rd career

double-double. She made 9 of 11 shots and all 11 free throws while

blocking seven shots.

”She must have had memories of what happened in Austin,”

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ”Because she was not very good in

Austin. She missed many shots there and we watched film. She got

the ball in the right spots today. … She was special.”

Griner had 27 points and 10 rebounds while playing the whole

game last month at Texas, but shot only 38 percent (9 of 24) – her

worst since the opening weekend of the season.

”I just was feeling it,” Griner said after Saturday’s

game.

The Lady Bears (23-1, 10-0 Big 12) were in control by halftime

with a 50-22 lead. Griner already had 23 points, making 8 of 9

shots and all seven free throws to go with seven rebounds and six

blocks.

Texas (16-8, 5-5) had won five in a row.

”Just a really impressive performance on both ends of the floor

for them, and really from everybody. … Obviously, Griner, we

couldn’t do anything with her,” Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said.

”We got beat in every way, shape and form in this game. Inside and

outside, their penetration, their transitions. I told Kim after the

game, if y’all play like this, you’ll win it all.”

Baylor has won 20 consecutive games in the same season for the

first time since their national championship season of 2004-05.

That was part of a school-record 30 in a row that included the

first 10 games in 2005-06.

Melissa Jones, Baylor’s only senior starter, had 14 points and

10 rebounds. Freshman Odyssey Sims had 14 points and six

assists.

Ashleigh Fontenette led Texas with 23 points and Chassidy

Fussell had 11 on 4-of-17 shooting.

Baylor has a quick turnaround with a home game Monday night

against sixth-ranked Texas A&M. When the teams played two weeks

ago in College Station, the Lady Bears won 63-60 – the only time

they have won by fewer than 11 points. Their only loss was by one

point at then-No. 1 Connecticut, the two-time defending national

champion, the first week of the season.

Monday’s game was part of why Griner was out of the game so

early, to a raucous ovation from the sellout crowd of 10,295. Jones

played only a couple of minutes, long enough to get her 10th

rebound and a double-double of her own.

Griner, who had four dunks last season, had the ball on the

baseline midway through the first half when she tried to go up from

basically a standing position for a one-handed dunk. Her putback

after the miss made it 20-12.

That was one of Griner’s three rebounds in a 46-second span, and

part of a 38-10 run by Baylor to end the first half after the game

was tied for the only time at 12.

Texas tied the game at 12 with 13:50 left in the first half when

Kristen Nash made a spin move around defenders in the lane for a

short basket.

Sims then had a steal, driving for a layup and making a free

throw after being fouled on the play. Griner’s short turnaround

jumper made it 18-12.

”They just kept going inside to Griner and she was pretty

unstoppable,” Goestenkors said.

Baylor pushed the lead to more than 20 points for the first time

when Jones had an assist on Griner’s short baseline turnaround

jumper that made it 37-16 with just under 5 minutes left in the

first half.

At the end of the half, Griner came out of a crowd with a

defensive rebound. She palmed the ball in her right hand and held

it high over her head as Baylor called timeout to set up a final

play.

Jones missed a 3-pointer from the right corner, but the ball

ricocheted off the rim to Griner, who hit the jumper as the buzzer

sounded.

”I know I played a good first half, just trying to help out my

team,” Griner said when asked if it was her best game.

When she was seemingly unsure what to say after that, her coach

finished the answer.

”I hope it’s not her best game,” Mulkey said. ”Let’s answer

like that. I hope that wasn’t her best game.”