HONOLULU (AP) – Makenzie Robertson shot so well Sunday, nobody could accuse her mom — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey — of playing favorites.
Robertson scored a career-high 23 points and No. 1 Baylor routed Hawaii 77-42 to close a disappointing tournament for the Lady Bears in Honolulu despite two dominant wins.
“It’s what every player dreams for — to get out there,” said Robertson.
Robertson, a junior reserve, averaged less than 2 points in Baylor’s first four games, and shattered her previous career high of 13 points, set her freshman year against Clemson.
Robertson said scoring was just a matter of being prepared for the opportunity.
“My teammates did a good job, they were finding me when I was open and they were finding the open players all game,” she said.
Mulkey said she had the same advice for Robertson as she has for all her role players: Do what you do best.
“Don’t be anything but who you are,” Mulkey said. “She can shoot the basketball, she has great range and her teammates delivered the ball to spots where she just had to catch and shoot.”
Brittney Griner had 10 points in 16 minutes, playing just three minutes in the second half. Baylor (4-1) pulled away from Hawaii during a 23-4 run midway through the first half to go up 32-9 with 7:42 left.
The Lady Bears started the second half with a 20-3 run to take a 37-point lead with less than 14 minutes left.
Baylor emptied its bench in picking apart the Rainbow Wahine, using all but one player for at least 10 minutes each.
“We have enough depth to piece together a different lineup at different times,” Mulkey said.
Kamilah Martin scored 15 points for Hawaii (1-3) in defeat. Hawaii shot under 30 percent and under 24 percent from 3-point range, missing all six of its 3-point attempts in the first half. The Rainbow Wahine had 12 turnovers compared with two assists in the half.
“We knew coming in it was going to be a tall feat,” Hawaii coach Laura Beeman said. “What I’m proud about these guys is they had a slight second of `Oh wow, can we do this?’ and then it vanished.”
It was clear Hawaii was overmatched from the start by Griner and her teammates.
Ashleigh Karaitiana head faked but didn’t jump for the opening tip against Griner. A few minutes later, Griner rebounded a ball over two Hawaii defenders by simply reaching up — without jumping or standing on her tiptoes. The 6-foot-8 Griner has a one-hand standing reach of more than nine feet.
Baylor shot 48.2 percent. Robertson made seven of eight 3-point attempts in 20 minutes off the bench. Destiny Williams had 11 points and Jordan Madden had 10.
Baylor’s two wins at the Rainbow Wahine tournament came after losing a Friday opener to No. 4 Stanford, which broke a 42-game winning streak — the fifth longest in NCAA women’s history and the longest active streak at the time.
Robertson called the Stanford game an eye-opener.
“It taught us how to face adversity but I think it’ll be good in the end,” Robertson said.
Baylor played without All-American guard Odyssey Sims, who missed her second straight game with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the Stanford loss.
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