No. 2 Baylor 81, Liberty 42
Brittney Griner had an assist and three blocked shots in the
opening minute of the game. Then, the 6-foot-8 sophomore standout
starting scoring for second-ranked Baylor.
Griner finished with a career-high 35 points, even outscoring
Liberty by herself in the first half, along with nine rebounds and
seven blocked shots in the Lady Bears’ 81-42 victory Friday
”I feel like I’m doing pretty good,” Griner said. ”The guards
are finding me when I position myself, so they’re helping me get
into the groove.”
Baylor (6-1) led for good after Griner assisted on Brooklyn
Pope’s jumper on the opening shot just six seconds into the game.
Griner quickly had her first three blocks after that on the same
Liberty possession, and that’s what really got her going.
”It motives me a lot actually,” Griner said. ”When I get
three or four blocks, I hope they drive the whole night. I just
told my guards, ‘If you get beat, I got you. Just let them come to
Griner, the preseason AP All-American, then had a three-point
play and a jumper as the Lady Bears jumped out to a 9-0 lead.
”She is a major impact player,” Liberty coach Carey Green
said. ”She’s the premier post in the country. As far as us facing
her, we tried a lot of things and she was more successful. …
She’s doing a lot of very good things in the post.”
By halftime, Griner already had 23 points, two more than
Liberty’s entire team. The Lady Bears led 47-21 at the break.
The previous high scoring game for Griner was 34 points last
December against Oral Roberts.
Freshman guard Odyssey Sims added 12 points for Baylor and Pope
Emily Frazier’s eight points led Liberty.
Griner was 13-of-18 shooting and made nine of 10 free throws
while playing 30 minutes with no fouls.
”Brittney got a lot of good looks in the game. … Sometimes we
fuss at her to quit getting pushed off the block. I thought she did
get some more closer-to-the-rim-type baskets,” coach Kim Mulkey
said. ”I just think Brittney needs to do more of that. Don’t just
settle for jumpers all the time. I thought she did a good job of
While that is another sign that Griner is maturing on the court,
she is just that much better against the teams Baylor is playing
Things could get a little tougher soon. After playing
Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday, the Lady Bears have a three-game
stretch that includes games against fourth-ranked Tennessee and
18th-ranked Notre Dame.
The Lady Bears have won their six home games by an average
margin of 42 points. Their only loss is a one-point loss at
top-ranked Connecticut, when Griner had 19 points and nine blocks
but made only 5 of 13 free throws.
In the three games since that, Griner had made 27 of 30 free
throws (90 percent) and 32 of 49 field goals (65 percent) with at
least 27 points and seven rebounds in each game.
”Coach just told me just go up there and shoot them,” Griner
said of the free throws. ”I really ain’t doing anything
On Tuesday night, Griner set Baylor’s career record for blocked
shots, breaking the mark of Danielle Wilson, who needed 92 games
over three seasons to get 249.
With seven more block Friday, Griner has 258 in her 42-game
career, moving past Kansas State’s Marlies Gipson (257) for third
on the Big 12 career list. Griner trails only Oklahoma’s Courtney
Paris (446) and Texas Tech’s Cisti Greenwalt (300).
Baylor jumped out to a 20-5 lead with 14:17 left in the first
half after two free throws by Griner, who already had nine points
”I don’t think we did a good job,” Green said. ”We wanted to
put more pressure on the guards and make the entry passes into
(Griner) more difficult and try to be more physical with her and
push her farther away from the basket where she’s less effective.