WACO (AP) – Baylor senior standout Brittney Griner was constantly surrounded and bumped by multiple Texas Tech defenders, even taking an elbow that was called a flagrant foul.
The Lady Raiders had no intention of letting the two-time All-American score 40 points against them again.
Griner had 30 points fewer this time around, but still had her 54th career double-double (10 points and 11 rebounds) as the top-ranked Lady Bears got their second lopsided victory in two weeks against Texas Tech, winning 89-47 on Tuesday night for their 52nd consecutive victory at home.
“We prepared for exactly what we saw tonight. I did not think they would challenge us in man-to-man like they did in Lubbock, where Griner pretty much dominated,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “We’ve seen it all. … You won by more tonight than you did with Griner getting 40 because you shared the wealth. And there’s lots of scoring on that sheet.”
Griner, the 6-foot-8 senior, also had seven blocked shots and five assists while leading four players scoring in double figures for the Lady Bears (23-1, 13-0 Big 12), who had two other players with nine points.
Odyssey Sims had 18 points, six steals and five assists. Brooklyn Pope had 17 points while Kimetria Hayden had 10 points and seven assists.
“These are good games. When they collapse on me and have two or three on me the whole game, it opens up everybody else on my team,” said Griner, who had 40 points and 15 rebounds in Baylor’s 30-point win at Lubbock on Jan. 30.
“Everybody did a great job on sharing the ball and cutting and attacking,” she said. “These games are just as good as the 30- and 40-point games.”
Along with their nation’s best home winning streak have several other impressive winning streaks, the Lady Bears have won 21 games in a row overall and 35 consecutive Big 12 regular-season games.
“Credit (Griner’s) teammates. That’s what makes them a great basketball team. It certain makes her better, and she makes them better, and it’s just a work in motion,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said. “Credit them, her supporting cast stepped up. We gave up 40 at our place, and 10 tonight, and still the same results.”
Chynna Brown had 15 points to lead Texas Tech (18-7, 8-5), and Casey Morris had 10
The Lady Raiders scored the first four points of the game. The Lady Bears went nearly 2 1/2 minutes before Jordan Madden’s 3-pointer, and went ahead to stay when Griner had a rebound that led to her jumper that made it 5-4.
When Madden made her second 3-pointer, only 2 minutes after the first, it was already 11-6.
The Lady Bears, going for their third consecutive regular-season conference title, have a four-game lead over 22nd-ranked Oklahoma with five league games left. Their only remaining non-conference game in the regular season is Monday night’s showdown at third-ranked Connecticut.
Texas Tech also scored first after halftime, but Kelsi Baker’s two free throws in the first minute only cut the gap to 46-28.
Sims responded with a 3-pointer to start a 17-0 run that she capped with a jumper 3 1/2 minutes later for a 65-28 lead. Pope’s eight points in the spurt included consecutive layups, the second on an assist by Sims.
Baylor, which had a 53-27 rebounding advantage, finished with 30 assists on 34 field goals.
“That’s telling you that a lot of kids are sharing the ball,” Mulkey said. “That’s just kids playing well together and really not caring about stats or anything. They just want to win another championship.
Griner played her 136th career game, and has scored in double figures in all but three of them. Already the Big 12 career scoring leader, she is 47 shy of 3,000 points. She extended her NCAA record for blocks — for men or women — to 693.
Unlike last season, the Lady Raiders haven’t been close this year against Baylor. Then again, nobody has with the Lady Bears winning by an average margin of 28 points (26 in Big 12 games) before the latest lopsided victory.
When Baylor had the NCAA’s first 40-win season with an undefeated national championship a year ago, the Lady Raiders twice lost by eight points or less. The only other teams that finished within 10 points were Connecticut and Texas A&M.
“I think we’re better. We played them within 10 a year ago and that didn’t do anything for us in the end,” Curry said. “It’s about maturity and growth, and anytime you have a great senior class like (Hayden) and Madden and Brittney and Pope, those kids have really matured and grown.”
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