No. 3 Baylor 86, Kansas St. 53
Offense is a given for No. 3 Baylor, so coach Kim Mulkey was
especially pleased with the defense and rebounding effort that
advanced the Lady Bears to the Big 12 tournament final.
Brittney Griner scored 21 points and Destiny Williams added 18
to lead Baylor to an 86-53 victory over Kansas State, holding the
Wildcats to 35 percent shooting and outrebounding the Wildcats
”Those kids come to your program as some of the best players in
the country, but those kids have never had to guard anybody,”
Mulkey said. ”That’s the biggest adjustment and where you see the
Baylor will meet the winner of the Texas A&M-Oklahoma
semifinal on Saturday.
Point guard Odyssey Sims added 14 while holding Kansas State’s
top scorer Brittany Chambers to 3-of-11 shooting and eight points.
Kelsey Hill led the fourth-seeded Wildcats (21-10) with 14
Williams finished 7 for 9 from the field. The offensive
emergence of Williams gives opponents more to think about as they
try to contain Griner inside.
”I just feel comfortable out there,” Williams said. ”Shooters
just have to keep shooting.”
The 6-foot-8 Griner scored all her points in just 29 minutes,
and her intimidating presence left Kansas State mainly shooting
from the perimeter.
”She’s a phenom and she’s only going to get better,” Mulkey
Griner and Williams left the game midway through the second half
with Baylor up by 30 points.
The inside-outside combination of Griner and Sims sustained
Baylor throughout the first half. Griner set the tone by posting up
and hitting two short jumpers for the opening four points.
Baylor rolled to a 22-5 lead midway through the first half, but
the Wildcats rallied from long range. Kansas State was 7 of 13 from
behind the arc in the first half and received a big boost from
Hill, who was 3 of 4 from 3-point range. One 3-pointer by Hill
brought the Wildcats within 28-19 before consecutive 3s by Sims
quickly pushed Baylor’s lead to 15.
When Kansas State relied on its zone defense to limit Griner’s
touches around the basket, Sims hit four 3-pointers. She finished
the half with all 14 of her points, while Griner added 12 for a
41-26 lead at the break.
”The first half, we might not have been our best, but I think
we were keeping the game competitive,” Kansas State coach Deb
Patterson said. ”The second 20 minutes, we just failed in our
ability to do that.”
Baylor had 22 offensive rebounds, tying for the fourth-most in
Big 12 tournament history.
Kansas State’s Jalana Childs played just three minutes because
of a hip flexor strain. Patterson is hopeful Childs will be healthy
for the NCAA tournament.
Baylor’s lead swelled to 38 points with 4:20 remaining.
”We knew we had to defend them all 30 seconds of the shot
clock, and that’s what we did,” Sims said.