WACO (AP) – Missouri came into Wednesday night’s game against Baylor with a 10-1 record without having faced a team quite like the top-ranked Lady Bears.
Odyssey Sims scored 22 points, and Brittney Griner had 14 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks to lead Baylor to a 90-46 rout of the Tigers in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Missouri (10-2, 0-1) had been winning by an average of 18 points — the closest victory a 56-54 win over Eastern Illinois — but quickly fell behind 18-3. BreAnna Brock hit a 3-pointer for Missouri about 2 minutes in for the Tigers’ only points in the first 7:19.
“I’ll tell you what, Baylor’s everything they are talked up to be and a little bit more,” Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. “They’ve got tremendous players, a tremendous coaching staff, tremendous fans. It’s where we all want to get to. … We’re a young, inexperienced team and obviously, it was pretty glaring tonight.”
Brock finished with 14 points.
Kimetria Hayden scored 14 and Jordan Madden added 12 for Baylor (14-0, 1-0), which is 14-0 for the first time in school history. Destiny Williams had 10 rebounds and Terran Condrey scored 10 points.
Missouri’s Christine Flores, who came in averaging 21.9 points and four blocks — second in the conference in both categories to Griner — had just 10 points and two blocked shots.
“Our non-conference schedule was not set up to mirror the Big 12,” Pingeton said. “We’re not ready for that yet. Obviously, it’s the best team we’ve played so far. We’ve got a heck of a scout team at home, but even our scout team can’t implement the kind of things a team like Baylor can do.”
Baylor, the preseason favorite to win the Big 12, saw Griner contribute a pair of baskets and Hayden knocking down a 3-pointer and driving for a layup to end the game-opening run. Baylor hit four 3s in the first 9 minutes of the game and led 24-7 with 11:25 left before halftime.
Late in the first half, Missouri twice couldn’t get a shot off and committed back-to-back shot clock violations.
Baylor, which has beaten tops 10 teams Notre Dame, Tennessee and Connecticut, scored 54 points in the paint and 12 on fast breaks.
Missouri put together just one scoring run of its own, a 6-0 effort behind Brock and Sydney Crafton, who each hit a pair of free throws to go with a jumper from Flores.
Baylor led 65-39 at that point.
“You’ve got the offensive gurus and then you’ve got those hard-nosed defensive coaches,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “And we’ve got some tremendous talent on the offensive end. But I tell every one of them when we recruit them, `You’re going to play defense. It may take me a while to get me to the point where I need to get you, but you’re going to play defense.”‘
With substitutes on the floor, Baylor closed the game on a 10-2 run, with Missouri’s only points in the final 3 minutes coming on a pair of free throws by Bailey Gee. Missouri made 14 of its 16 free throw attempts, while Baylor was 6 of 8 from the line.
“I thought we did a good job of limiting how many times they went to the free throw line on their end, and we converted on ours,” Pingeton said. “I’m really trying to find the positives right now. It’s hard, but this is where our program’s at right now.”
Baylor had the rebounding advantage at 46-30, including 18 on the offensive glass.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)