WACO (AP) — Brittney Griner had 22 points and 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes and No. 1 Baylor clinched at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title with a 78-45 victory against TCU on Saturday.
Griner scored eight of the Lady Bears’ first 10 points as Baylor won its 53rd straight home game and 36th in a row in the conference, both the longest current streaks nationally. Baylor (24-1, 14-0) also has a nation-leading 22-game winning streak.
The Lady Bears kept TCU (7-17, 0-13) without a league win in its first Big 12 season, holding the Horned Frogs to 26 shooting. No TCU players scored in double figures. Kamy Cole led with nine on three 3-pointers.
Baylor took control with a 17-2 run that included four points from Griner and six from Destiny Williams, who punctuated the run by poking the ball away from Ashley Colbert for a breakaway layup and a 27-10 lead midway through the first half.
Griner extended her double-figure scoring streak to 105 games, and her block against Donielle Breaux early in the second half gave her at least one rejection in 74 consecutive games. She had her 55th career double-double and was 11 of 14 from the field.
Stylish Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey didn’t have to say much while decked out in pink pants and high heels on Baylor’s “Play 4Kay” day in honor of late N.C. State coach Kay Yow, who died of breast cancer in 2009.
TCU, playing in pink uniforms with purple letters and numbers, made just 17 of 65 from the field, including just 6 of 27 from beyond the arc. The Horned Frogs were outscored 56-10 in the paint.
Brooklyn Pope and Alexis Prince had 10 points apiece for Baylor.
Baylor’s lead hovered around 20 early in the second half, and a crowd anxious for entertainment got excited when Griner, who has an NCAA-record 13 dunks, ended up with the ball alone under the basket but had to settle for dropping the ball over the rim for a 45-27 lead.
Many in the crowd were laughing a few minutes later when the 6-foot-8 Griner ended up defending 5-foot TCU guard Meagan Henson at the top of the key. Henson opted to pass before immediately getting the ball back and hitting a 3-pointer with Griner a safer distance away.
Griner started and finished a 14-5 Baylor run in the second half with a pair of baskets, the latter putting Baylor ahead 65-37 with 8½ minutes to go. Griner went to the bench for good a short time later.
TCU stayed close for the first 5 minutes thanks to 3-pointers from freshman Zahna Medley, who was coming off a career-best 35-point game, and Delisa Gross.
Kimetria Hayden started Baylor’s 17-2 run with a 3-pointer, and Williams’ layup after a TCU miss made it 15-8.
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