Post-punch: Griner, Barncastle have first rematch
Brittney Griner and Jordan Barncastle haven’t spoken to each
other or had any direct contact since the punch. They won’t be able
to avoid each other Saturday night.
No. 1 Baylor is hosting Texas Tech in the first meeting between
the teams since a confrontation last March that left Barncastle
with a broken nose and Griner suspended for two games. The video
”That’s all behind us,” Griner said this week. ”That was last
year, everybody’s moved on. So we’re just going to come out and
play a good game.”
Baylor (17-1, 4-0 Big 12) has won 14 games in a row overall, and
its last 13 at home. The Lady Raiders (16-2, 3-1) are coming off a
loss at No. 14 Oklahoma that snapped their second eight-game
winning streak of the season.
Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry, like Griner, insisted that the
focus is on this game.
”It continues to be where others want to bring it to the
forefront, but if you’ve noticed from my comments, it hasn’t been
talked about, won’t be talked about,” Curry said. ”Different
team, different year. Those two young ladies need to be allowed to
just play the game.”
They play again Feb. 19 in Lubbock.
The day after the punch, which came in a Baylor victory at
Lubbock, Griner issued a written apology through the school to
Barncastle, Texas Tech and her own teammates and coaches. But they
haven’t seen each other since.
Even at the Big 12 media day in October, Griner and Barncastle
didn’t see or talk to each other. Their teams were involved in
different sessions with reporters.
Barncastle has started all 18 games this season for Tech,
averaging 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds, about what she did a year
ago. Texas Tech officials said she wasn’t among the players
available for scheduled interviews Friday.
At the Big 12 media day, Barncastle said the incident wasn’t
going to change her physical style of play.
”We’re not really dwelling on the past,” Barncastle said
The 6-foot-2 Barncastle was called for a foul on the play that
led to the infamous scrap.
When the two players got tangled under the basket, Barncastle
twisted and slung the 6-foot-8 Griner off of her. After lunging
toward the baseline, Griner stopped, took two steps and delivered a
roundabout right to Barncastle’s face.
Griner, already a YouTube sensation for her dunks and blocked
shots, got an automatic one-game NCAA ban for the punch. Baylor
coach Kim Mulkey added a second game to the suspension.
Mulkey repeatedly said that Griner shouldn’t be defined for the
mistake. In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this
season, Griner spoke about learning from the incident.
”I’ve just got to keep a cool, cool head no matter what
happens,” Griner said. ”You’ve just got to be able to walk away
and just not retaliate. That’s what I learned, that’s not
acceptable at all. … I’ve just got to be able to just walk away,
and I feel like I can do that.”
There have been no issues this season for Griner, who averages
22 points and 7.8 rebounds a game.
When asked then about the first game against Barncastle, Griner
said she didn’t feel like anything needed to be said between the
”Just go play,” she said. ”It’s a one-time thing, you don’t
even have to say anything about it. Just go play.”